Israeli occupation forces (IOF) escalated their offensive against the Gaza Strip, killing eight Palestinians and injuring 17 others in various attacks throughout the Strip. The IOF carried out air strikes in different areas. It carried out an artillery attack on a house belonging to the Fayad family in Khan Younis, killing three brothers, their mother, and a fifth family member. Two civilian cars in northern and middle Gaza Strip were also bombarded, but no injuries were reported. In an incursion in Khan Younis, three homes were damaged, and several dunams of agricultural land were bulldozed. IOF also shelled three additional houses located in Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City, in al-Mughraqa village south of Gaza City, and in the southern town of Rafah.
According to Al Mezan field investigations, at approximately 1:50pm on 3 January 2008, IOF fired a missile at an uninhabited house in al-Nasser area in Rafah. The home was located on western Salah al-Din Street. It belongs to Ismail Abed Jarghoun, who resides abroad. The shelling led to partial damage of the five-story house, but no casualties were reported.
At approximately 1:50pm, on 3 January 2008, the IOF fired another missile at a residential building in al-Mughraqa village, south of Gaza City, owned by Muhammad Morshed Abu Abdullah, who was assassinated previously by the IOF. The shelling partially damaged the house, but no casualties were reported.
At approximately 1pm on 3 January 2008, IOF fired a missile at a residential building in Tel al-Hawa from the eastern border line. The two-story building belongs to Kareem al-Dahdouh, who was assassinated previously by the IOF. The shelling led to partial damage of the home, but no injuries were reported.
At approximately 2:30am on 3 January 2008, an IOF special unit carried out an incursion under helicopters’ cover in al-Zenah area, northeast of Bani Suheyla town near Khan Younis. IOF helicopter gun ships fired eight missiles intermittently, which landed in the vicinity of the incursion. The strikes resulted in the injury of nine persons, two of whom remained bleeding until they died.
Palestinian ambulances were allowed to enter and retrieve their bodies. They were identified as 20-year-old Munir Ibrahim Barham and 26-year-old Barham Fahmi Abu Lehia. At approximately 8:30am on the same day, IOF tanks fired three artillery shells at Hamdan Fayyad’s house that led to the killing of his wife, 50-year-old Kareema Fayyad, two of his sons, 32-year-old Ahmed Fayyad and 28-year-old Sami Fayyad, his daughter, 22-year-old Asamaa Fayyad, and another family member, 32-year-old Mohammed Fayyad. Four other people sustained injuries and the house was destroyed in this attack.
The IOF continued its military operations in Khan Younis until it withdrew at approximately 1:00pm that day. During this incursion, a total of seven persons were killed, including two women. Sixteen others were injured, including three children, and three homes were damaged. The IOF also bulldozed several dunums of agricultural land.
At approximately 8:30pm on 2 January 2008, an IOF drone fired a missile at a car that traveling south on al-Saftawi Street, west of Jabalia town in the northern Gaza Strip. Three persons were in the car, one of them was slightly injured and the car was destroyed completely.
At approximately 11:10am, on 2 January 2008, an IOF drone fired a missile at a jeep in which three persons were traveling, on the costal road opposite to Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip. The missile fell in front of the jeep and no one was injured.
At approximately 7:30am, on 2 January 2008, IOF troops stationed at the northern border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the north of Beit Hanoun opened fire at a young man as he was approaching the border. The following morning, the IOF informed the liaison department at the Palestinian Ministry of Health that they killed a young man and his body was still in the area. Medical crews went to the area and found the body. The victim has not been identified.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses its strong condemnation of the continued Israeli conducts that led to the deaths of civilians, including women and children. IOF’s arbitrary attacks on populated areas represent a serious disregard of civilians’ lives and well-being.
Al Mezan reiterates its calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to fulfill their legal and moral obligations to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s compliance with the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to provide protection for Palestinian civilians. Al Mezan also recommends the United Nations to condemn the violations of the international law and human rights standards in Gaza. The international community should ensure that such violations are duly investigated and perpetrators of human rights violations are brought to justice. The international community’s long silence has only allowed for additional violations of human rights and should therefore end.