Israeli forces escalate Gaza offensive

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued its offensive against Palestinians and their property in the Gaza Strip. Since the commencement of the offensive on Gaza, 50 Palestinians have been killed and 206 injured. The attacks have also resulted in the destruction of 71 houses; five of which completely, 47 security installations; and 47 commercial and industrial premises, 39 of which were completely destroyed. In addition, 13 vehicles have been also targeted; nine of which were completely destroyed.

According to the Center’s field investigations, at approximately 1.30am today, 29 May 2007, IOF Special Forces penetrated the area near Sofa Crossing in southeast of Khan Younis. Soldiers broke into and searched the house of Mohammed Ayish Al Amour, which is some 1.5km inside Gaza. They held the residents of the house in one room for the duration of the operation and used their house as a base for shooting. Two people were killed from sniper bullets to the head; they are: Abdul-Karim Ahmed Sha’at, aged 19; and Muhammad Ahmed Mo’amar, aged 27. In addition, a 28-year-old, Susan Mo’amar, sustained wounds in her back from shrapnel. IOF also arrested two brothers; Talab Mohammed Ayish Al Amour, aged 28; and Fayiq Mohammed Ayish Al Amour, aged 30; before they withdrew from the area some one hour later.

Earlier, at approximately 11.05 pm on 28 May 2007, an IOF warplane fired two rockets at the Beit Hanoun Sports Club, destroying its main building and a hall that was under construction. Nine Palestinians, including four women, were sustained light wounds. The attack also caused damage to tens of houses and two public premises; the Al Anwar Islamic Kindergarten and the Al Quds Medical Center; both were seriously damaged.

Al Mezan strongly condemns the IOF offensive. It asserts that these practices, particularly the targeting of civil premises in densely populated areas, amount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law. These conducts have resulted with large numbers of killings and injuries and caused severe damage to civilian property.

Al Mezan therefore calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to put an end to these violations and provide international protection to Palestinian civilians. The Centre also calls on the international community to assume the moral and legal obligations towards Palestinian civilians under occupation, as set out in international law and human rights standards. Al Mezan calls for this obligation to be met through identifying the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.

Related Links

  • Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
  • BY TOPIC: Israel Attacks Gaza (16 May 2007)