Since the wide-scale Israeli military assault on the northern part of the Gaza Strip, 96 Palestinians have been killed, including 29 children and three Palestinians in the south of Gaza. At least 319 Palestinians, including 111 children were injured. Numerous homes and private property have also been destroyed as IOF utilize air force and heavy tanks in this military operation. In addition, as the incursion continues, the civilian population of the area suffer shortage in food and water supply. In the areas which IOF occupy civilians lack the most basic needs. Al Mezan is still receiving plights from people who have been in urgent need for medicine and water.
Events of day nine: Thursday 7 October 2004
IOF continued the military operation today in the north of the Gaza Strip. According to Al Mzan’s fieldworker, IOF demolished 60 homes completely and about 130 homes partially since 28 September 2004 in North Gaza. They also leveled an area of 250 dunams of farmland, most of which in this area.
At approximately 8:50pm Wednesday 6 October 2004, an Israeli helicopter gunship launched three missiles towards a metal workshop in Darduna Street in Jabalia town. The workshop is owned by Muhammad Al Katta’ and is located near Al Raf’i Elementary School in the town.
At 9:30pm the same day, IOF helicopters opened machinegun fire towards residential areas in the town of Beit Hanoun and the Tel Az Zaatar neighborhood in Jabalia. Numerous homes were damaged, but no casualties were reported.
16-year-old Muhammad Abu Saif from Jabalia camp passed away today morning. He was wounded from Israeli live bullets in the neck and the chest on 1 October 2004.
At approximately 7:40am Thursday 7 October 2004, an Israel tank fired a shell towards two children near Jabalia Youth Club. The shell killed Raid Ziyad Abu Zaid and Sulaiman Abu Foul, both of them are 15-years-old and from the Mashrou’ neighborhood in Beit Lahia.
In his affidavit to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Ibrahim Shabat, who is a rescue team member, said: “at 7:40am I heard a sound of an explosion when I was at Al Awda Hospital, where I work. I hurried with my colleague, Diya’ Al Halabi, to the location, which is about 200 meters from the hospital. We were the first to arrive at the scene, near the Jabalia Youth Club, east to Jabalia camp. When we arrived, I saw a body of a young human without a head and many body remains. My colleague and I carried the body to the ambulance. Other ambulances arrived the location and we moved to the hospital. There were not any injured people in the incident”.
Al Mezan’s fieldworker in North Gaza reported that IOF opened fire towards civilian homes near the Education Directorate northern Beit Lahia at approximately 9:25am today. No casualties were reported. It should be noted that two Palestinians were killed from similar acts during the past week. In addition, at about the same time, they fired a tank shell towards Tel Az Zaatar neighborhood. No casualties were reported in this attack.
IOF tanks took position near the Palestinian security post north to Tel Az Zaatar neighborhood today morning. They destroyed part of the location.
At approximately 3pm today, IOF demolished the two-story house of Ziyad Saadat in As Sikka Street in the town of Beit Hanoun.
At about 5pm today, IOF, who are positioned in the Zimmu Street in Beit Hanoun, opened fire at homes in Al Qaraman neighborhood southern Beit Hanoun. A 12-year-old girl, Samah Mu’een Udeh, was critically injured in her house.
The humanitarian situation in North Gaza continued to deteriorate on the 9th day of IOF incursion in the area. Al Mezan receives calls from civilians who need medicines and access to hospitals. Some of the cases are in serious health condition as medical teams are not allowed to reach them, such as the case of 30-year-old Amneh Muhammad Al Jamal, who lives in Salah Ad Din Street, eastern Jabalia.
At 5:10pm today, IOF broke into the house of Fathi Az Zaaneen in Beit Hanoun. Soldiers took control of the house and used it for observation. Eighteen people live in this house.
On 7 Oct 2004, the Arab State of Qatar condemned the “Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people”, especially in the Gaza strip camps. The statement of Qatar Government said that the current Israeli military escalation against Palestinian camps in Gaza is a flagrant violation of the international law. It also called on the international community to put an end to Israel’s crimes and provide international protection for the Palestinian people.
India’s minister of Foreign Affairs condemned today Israel’s aggression against Palestinian civilians, which caused death to children and women. He called for an immediate halt to the Israeli military operation and for resuming the peace negotiations in compliance with the United Nations’ resolutions.
The Secretary General of the Islamic Conference Organization condemned the Israeli forces’ military campaign in the Gaza strip, in which tens have been killed. he also condemned Israel’s announcement regarding the expansion of the military operation in Gaza and called the international community to pressure Israel to end its aggression.
The Arab members of the UNESCO voiced their concern about Israel’s military acts in the Gaza strip. They denounced the Israeli indifference towards the organization’s efforts for peace in the area. They also condemned the IOF’s attacks against educational and cultural facilities in the Palestinian territories.
Palestinian and Israeli statements
Dr. Abdul Jabbar Al Tibi, Director of Primary Care department in the Palestinian ministry of health said today that the primary care clinics in North Gaza have not functioned during the past nine days. He warned about the lack of medicine and personnel in these clinics, especially vaccines in the besieged areas.
Israeli Prime Minister said today that the military operation would continue until Qassam rockets towards Israel stop.
Al Mezan statement
Al Mezan Center for Human Right gravely condemns Israel’s continued collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in the OPT, and especially in the North Gaza area. The center emphasizes that IOF committed violations, and continue, serious violations of human rights is this area, especially the arbitrary shelling and bombardment of residential areas, the use of excessive and disproportionate force, the obstruction of ambulance and humanitarian teams movement and, he destruction of homes and private properties. Such acts breach the International Humanitarian Law and human rights standards and necessitate urgent action by the international community.
The Center believes that the failure of the international community to effectively intervene has only urged Israel to continue its breach of international law. Al Mezan calls for urgent international community to protect Palestinian civilians in the OPT and to put an end to its collective punishment of Palestinian civilians, especially as the humanitarian situation of tens of thousands of civilians is deteriorating rapidly.
Al Mezan calls upon the United Nations Security Council to condemn the Israeli breaches of the international law and to initiate investigations in the IOF’s violations of human rights in the Gaza Strip.
Due to the Israeli incursion in North Gaza and to the presence of IOF tanks 150 meters from its office, which incurs serous dangers on the center’s office and the safety of its staff, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights was forced to close its main office in Jabalia camp. The Center receives the cases who need intervention in person or by telephone in its Gaza office in Izzadin Al Qassam St., tel/fax: +970 (0)8 2820447/2.