The following press release was issued by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights on 25 August 2009:
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns attacks perpetrated by Israeli forces in the evening of 24 August, and the morning of 25 August 2009. Three Palestinians were killed while a fourth is missing consequent to Israeli gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip and aerial bombardment along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 15:15 on Monday, 24 August 2009, Israeli troops positioned to the northwest of Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip (along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel) fired at two Palestinian civilians from Beit Lahia who got close to the border. Said Ata al-Hussumi, 16, was instantly killed by two bullets to the chest, and Masoud Mohammed Tanboura, 19, was seriously wounded by several bullets to the chest.
Al-Husumi and Tanboura were working in a farm in Beit Lahiya town, approximately 350 meters away from the border fence. They attempted to get close to the border to find metal wires to sell them. They were unarmed.
Israel has illegally prohibited movement near the border fence in the north and in the east of the Gaza Strip. The prohibition applies to within a distance of 300 meters from the border fence inside the Gaza Strip. Accordingly, Palestinian farmers are denied access to their lands. Thus, they are denied their right to cultivate these lands or even to approach them. In many cases, Palestinians come under Israeli gunfire from distances that exceed 300 meters. PCHR has documented many deaths, including children, as a result of Israeli forces firing at civilians while in the proximity of these areas.
In the early morning of Tuesday, 25 August 2009, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a tunnel near the Salah al-Din Gate in the south of Rafah town on the Palestinian-Egyptian border. Two brothers, Mansour Ali al-Batniji, 30, and Nael Ali al-Batniji, 20, were killed, and their other brother, Ibrahim, 35, is missing. Another six Palestinians were also wounded.
PCHR strongly condemns such escalation by Israeli forces, and:
- Reiterates its condemnation of such crimes which are part of a series of war crimes committed by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
- Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to stop such crimes, and renews its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations.