Death toll hits 34 in Beit Hanoun; 5 killed in assassinations elsewhere in Gaza

Relatives of brothers Ayman and Raed Yassin, who were killed by Israeli troops, mourn during their funeral in the northern Gaza Strip, 4 November 2006. (MaanIamges/Wesam Saleh)

Thirty-four Palestinians Killed and 150 Injured, Wide-scale destruction of Civilian Property in Beit Hanoun, Five others Killed in Extra-judicial executions in other parts of the Gaza Strip

For the fourth consecutive day, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue their land incursion on the town of Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip. This attack comes as part of an IOF operation codenamed “Autumn Clouds.” The number of victims has increased to 34 killed, including 21 civilians that include seven children, two women, and two paramedics. The injured number 150, most of them unarmed civilians, including approximately 40 women, 40 children, one paramedic, and one journalist.

PCHR’s preliminary investigations indicate that IOF is using its most brutal war machines in the attack on Beit Hanoun; that IOF are using excessive force against unarmed civilians; and that IOF are not using proportionality and necessity in the use of force against Palestinian resistance activists in civilian neighborhoods. The most significant of IOF crimes was the targeting of a demonstration by women in the town, which resulted in the death of two women and the injury of 40 others, some seriously. In addition, IOF have been targeting medical personnel, killing two and injuring a third. Furthermore, IOF have prevented ambulances from reaching the injured and have hindered the work of medical crews. IOF continue to impose a complete and hermetic closure on the town, causing living conditions to deteriorate in light of cutting off basic services such as water and electricity and the destruction of infrastructure.

Furthermore, IOF are rounding up all males ages 16 years or more and taking them to a military detention facility set up in the premises of the college of agriculture in Beit Hanoun. Due to the difficulty in reaching the place, PCHR has not learned of the number of detainees, those released, or those transferred for detention inside Israel. Elsewhere, IOF have killed five Palestinians in three extra-judicial executions in Gaza City and Rafah.

PCHR is extremely concerned over the continued aggression against the Gaza Strip, especially the northern part, and is worried over the possibility of the falling of more civilian victims and further destruction of civilian property.
In follow up of PCHR’s press release on 2 November 2006, IOF crimes in Beit Hanoun since then are:

  • At approximately 12:00 on Thursday, 2 November 2006, IOF imposed a siege on El-Naser Mosque in the center of Beit Hanoun. There were a number of resistance activists inside the mosque. Approximately 150 women from the area around the mosque moved to lift the siege. IOF responded by fired heavily at the direction of the women. One was injured in the head. Medical teams could not reach the injured woman. She lay bleeding on the ground for a long time before she was transferred to the Beit Hanoun Hospital, where her injury was listed as serious.
  • At approximately 21:25 in the evening of the same day, an IOF plane fired one rocket at a group of resistance activists in the center of Beit Hanoun, killing one of them: Hasan Saleh Ahmad Salah (22). After 30 minutes an IOF plane fired another rocket after civilians had gathered in the scene of the first attack. Two civilians were killed, one of them a child:
  • Sami Abdallah Abu Sal’a (28) from the town of Jabalia; and
  • Mohammad Samir Mahmoud (17) from the town of Jabalia.
  • At approximately 23:30 on the same evening, medical sources at Shifa Hospital announced the death of the child Bara Riyad Mohammad Fayyad (4) from Beit Hanoun. He died of wounds sustained when his house was shelled the evening before.

  • At approximately 7:00 on Friday, 3 November 2006, a group of about 300 women from several areas in the northern Gaza Strip organized a demonstration and headed to Beit Hanoun. When the demonstration reached the outskirts of Beit Hanoun near Izbit Beit Hanoun, IOF fired at them. Two women were killed and 40 were injured. Ambulances could not reach the bodies of the dead. The injured were evacuated 11 hours later at 8:00 in the evening. The two women who were killed are:
  • Rawda Ibrahim Jaber (48) from Jabalia refugee camp; and
  • Ibtisam Yousef Mas’oud (44) from Jabalia refugee camp.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, IOF continued indiscriminate shelling of areas in Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia, and Jabalia. Four civilians, including two children, were killed by the bombardment near Abdallah Azzam Mosque in Izbit Beit Hanoun. In additions, scores of civilians were injured, including a journalist for Ramatan news agency. The journalist is Hamza El-Attar (22). The civilians killed are:
  • Ahmad Sehweil (15) from Beit Hanoun, killed by a bullet to the chest;
  • Hamza Mohammad Karsou’ (18) from Beit Lahia, killed by a bullet to the chest;
  • Hamdi Ramadan Abdel Dayem (16) from Beit Hanoun, killed by a bullet to the chest; and
  • Mohammad Ahmad Sabbah (20) from Jabalia, killed by a bullet to the chest.
  • At approximately 20:30 in the evening, an IOF plane fired a rocket at a group of resistance activists near the Military Intelligence compound in Tal El-Za’tar area east of Jabalia. One of the activists was killed: Basel Mohammad Ashour (24).
  • At approximately 20:45, an IOF plane fired a rocket at a second group of resistance activists near Hammouda gas station. One activist was killed: Eyad Sabri Abu El-Jedyan (26) from Jabalia refugee camp.
  • At approximately 21:30 on the same day an IOF plane fired a rocket at a third group of resistance activists and civilians in the Beir El-Na’ja area, near Abu Obaida Bin El-Jarrah School in the western part of Beit Lahia. A number of people were injured. When medical crews arrived a second rocket was fired at the area killing two paramedics: Mustafa Habib (23) and Ahmad Shehda El-Madhoun (43). Both were volunteer paramedics in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Four others were killed in the bombardment, one a child. Another four were injured, including a paramedic. The victims killed are:
  • Ahmad Fathi Naji (23);
  • Suliman Abdallah Olwan (40);
  • Ra’ed Ali Yassin (17); and
  • Ayman Ali Yassin (19).
  • At approximately 2:30 on Saturday, 4 November 2006, an IOF fighter jet dropped a bomb at a house belonging to a family of the Abu Harbid clan. The house residents were not in the house at the time. The house was completely destroyed, a neighbor was killed, and three others were injured. The killed victim is Marwan Mohammad Abu Harbid (46).
  • In the morning hours of the same day, the child Mohammad Ibrahim Ba’lousha (17) was killed by indiscriminate shelling and gunfire. He was killed by a bullet to the head. In addition, a resistance activist was killed by a bullet to the head: Ra’ed Hilmi Seyam (32).

    Palestinians inspect a demolished car after it was hit in an Israeli air strike on Rafah refugee camp in the southern of Gaza Strip, 3 November 2006. (MaanIamges/Hatem Omar)

    The extra-judicial executions outside Beit Hanoun were:
  • At approximately 2:00 on Friday, and IOF plane fired a rocket at a vehicle near Hitten School in the Sheja’eya Quarter east of Gaza City. Three Hamas activists were in the car which suffered a direct hit. The three activists were killed:
  • Emad Reyad Mushtaha (30);
  • Tamer Ali Hilles (23); and
  • Mohammad Talal Farhat (23).
  • At approximately 21:15 on the same day, an IOF plane fired a rocket at a vehicle in Omar Bin El-Khattab Street near Kirbit El-Adas square in Rafah. The car suffered a direct hit. One Hamas activist in the car was killed and four were seriously injured. A bystander was also seriously injured. The killed activist is Ahmad Mansour Abu H’meid (34).
  • At approximately 5:30 on Saturday, an IOF plane fired two rockets at a vehicle in Jala Street in Gaza City. A number of Hamas activists were inside the car. One activist was killed and another seriously injured. The killed activist is Luay Mohammad El-Borno (33) from Zaitoon Quarter in Gaza City.

    PCHR is extremely concerned over the serious escalation by IOF, and:

  • Condemns these crimes that come as a continuation of IOF war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). These crimes exhibit a total disregard for Palestinian civilian lives. These crimes are also considered a form of reprisals and collective punishment in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Points to the fact that IOF does not use proportionality and necessity in the use of force against Palestinian resistance activists in civilian neighborhoods, which causes casualties among the civilian population and destruction of their property.
  • Renews condemnation of the policy of extra-judicial executions against Palestinian activists, which increases tension in the area and threatens to inflict additional casualties among the civilian population.
  • Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to stop these crimes. The Centre reiterates the call to the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations and ensure that it is respected under all circumstances. The Centre reminds the High Contracting Parties of their obligation under Article 146 of the convention to prosecute criminals suspected of perpetrating serious violations of the convention. It is noted that serious violations are considered war crimes in Article 147 of the convention and the optional protocol additional to the convention.

    Related Links

  • The Palestinian Center for Human Rights
  • BY TOPIC: Extrajudicial Killings