Al Mezan Center For Human Rights 9 October 2004
Since the wide-scale Israeli military assault on the northern part of the Gaza Strip, 107 Palestinians have been killed, including 29 children and 17 Palestinians in other parts of Gaza. At least 340 Palestinians, including 120 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 eleven, Saturday 9 October 2004
At 9:15pm yesterday, Friday 8 October 2004, IOF opened fire arbitrarily towards Tel Az Zaatar neighborhood in Jabalia. Witnesses reported to the Center that several homes were damaged. Additionally, the shelling caused damage to the Al Awda Hospital building and to equipment in its lab.
At 10pm yesterday, IOF tanks, which were stationed at At Tabba’ Hill, shelled artillery towards the house of Sa’du Hasan Ad Da’ifi. The house’s owner and his 20-year-old daughter, Tahreer, were injured. The house was severely damaged in the attack.
At approximately 10:30pm yesterday, IOF opened machinegun fire towards homes in As Sika Street east of Jabalia. Residents informed Al Mezan that no casualties were reported, but several homes were damaged.
At 11:40pm yesterday, IOF tanks and armored bulldozers entered the Al Manshiyeh neighborhood in Beit Lahia and leveled 20 dunams of farmland, which is owned by Al Aklouk family.
At 2:20pm yesterday, IOF demolished a major part of a Palestinian Civil Defense building east of Jabalia camp.
At approximately 11:50pm yesterday, Israeli tanks fired artillery towards the Asaliyeh neighborhood, east of Jabalia camp, killing 27-year-old Salameh Ismail Abu Sil’a. Witnesses informed Al Mezan Center that Abu Sil’a was trying to connect the damaged water pipe near his house after Jabalia Municipality managed to pump water to his neighborhood. They added that he remained on the ground for 40 minutes before he was collected as IOF opened fire at people who tried to reach him.
IOF killed two Palestinian security members in Khan Younis last night. Eyewitnesses reported to the Center that a missile hit them when they were at a security post near At Tuffah checkpoint east of the town at 1:30am. The two victims were identified as 22-year-old Imad Yihia Bader and 23-year-old Saqer Awni Saqer. The Israeli army claimed responsibility while Palestinian officials said the two were ahead their night duty.
At approximately 1:17am today, IOF fired tank shells and machineguns towards homes in the east of Jabalia camp. Medical sources reported that 29-year-old Ashraf Dhahir was critically injured from live bullets in the chest and the head in the As Sika Street in Jabalia. Several homes were severely damaged due to the shelling, residents of the neighborhood reported to the Center.
At approximately 1am today, IOF fired two tank shells towards Beit Lahia Main Street. The shells exploded near Al Barrawi Petroleum Station and damaged a field office used by ambulance services in the street. Fifteen minutes later, IOF fired two other shells at the same street. Residents informed Al Mezan that several homes were damaged.
At 2:30am today, IOF fired a tank shell towards the house of Samy Musbah Al Rantisi, which is located in the As Sika Street eastern Jabalia camp. Rantisi’s mother, wife and seven children were wounded. The house was damaged from the attack.
At approximately 3:30am today, IOF killed two Palestinians, who are believed to have exchanged fire with IOF in the town of Beit Hanoun. Eyewitnesses said that IOF stormed into the town under heavy shelling. The two were identified as 20-year-old Muhammad Yihia Udwan and 24-year-old Arafat Fuad Naser. IOF ordered the residents of the neighboring homes of Farid Az Zaaneen house and demolished the his house of. Az Zaaneen was killed in IOF air raid in Beit Hanoun on 3 October 2004.
At 9:30am today, 10 IOF tanks and 6 armored bulldozers entered eastern Ezbat Abed Rabu in Jabalia town. Soldiers took control of the tallest buildings for observation and started bulldozing of cultivated land in the neighborhood. They bulldozed 100 dunams of land owned by Ijneed and Az Zabin families. Residents reported to the Center that IOF continued the acts of bulldozing by the issuance of this update.
At approximately 10:40am today, an Israeli drone launched a missile towards Al Qirim Street in the east of Jabalia. 25-year-old Abdul Ra’uf Nabhan was killed as a result.
At 11:20 yesterday, IOF stormed into the area north to the settlement of Nitzarim, in Gaza City, and bulldozed one house, a livestock farm and one water well. Al Mezan was informed by witnesses that these properties are owned by Muhammad Al Rayis and Abdul Aziz Al Rayis.
At 12:45 pm today, IOF opened fire towards the funeral of the two security members who were killed by IOF last night. Two children were injured; 15-year-old Jihad Khalil Barbakh and 12-year-old Hasan Muhammad Al Qamhawi. Witnesses reported that IOF fired at and hit the ambulance which took them to hospital.
IOF continued the military operation today in the north of the Gaza Strip. According to Al Mezan’s fieldworker, IOF demolished 70 homes completely and over 150 homes partially since 28 September 2004 in North Gaza. They also leveled an area of 400 dunams of farmland, most of which in this area. Fifteen school and kindergarten buildings were also damaged.
For the eleventh day, the educational facilities remained paralyzed in North Gaza due to the IOF incursion in the area. Some 50 schools closed their doors due to the IOF operation in the area, preventing students and teachers from reaching schools.
For the eleventh day, IOF continued its closure of the main roads in the Gaza Strip. Reports about the deteriorated humanitarian situation in the middle and south areas of the Strip continued, especially about the suffering of people who have been trapped outside towns. Except for the residents of the south area, civilians cannot travel through the Rafah crossing in the south. Moreover, people seeking health care, education, business or emergency services cannot leave their areas. IOF have been losing the beach road connecting Gaza and the middle Gaza area and the Abu Holy checkpoint connecting the south with the middle areas of the Strip. The southern parts lack fuel and goods due to the continued closure. IOF opened the Abu Holy checkpoint for two hours and a half and thousands could pass through.
Palestinian, Israeli and international statements
French MP called for international protection for Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation. In yesterday’s session of the French National Council, which was assigned for discussion of the French foreign policy, MP Jacquien raised the Palestinian suffering under Israel’s siege of Gaza and the construction of the Separation wall in the West Bank. She also expressed the sympathy of France’s people with the Palestinian people and called for the implementation of the Geneva charter.
Ministers of health of 22 states in the Mediterranean region condemned the Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the OPT, especially the ongoing offensive in North Gaza. In the closing statement of the regional meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Cairo yesterday, the Ministers voiced deep concern about the consequences of Israel’s violations, which caused death and injury to thousands and brought the poverty and malnutrition to alarming levels. They called on the General director of the WHO to continue the Organization’s assistance for the Palestinian people under the escalation by IOF.
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.