Israeli forces kill Gaza civilians in botched execution attempt

Palestinians inspect a destroyed car after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed three civilians, 16 January 2008. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

On Wednesday at noon, 16 January 2008, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched an air strike against a civilian vehicle in Gaza City. Three Palestinian civilians (a man, his son and his brother) were killed in the strike.

According to preliminary investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 12:30pm on Wednesday, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a civilian vehicle, in which three members of the al-Yazji family, including a child, were traveling, in al-Nafaq Street in the al-Daraj neighborhood of east Gaza City. The missile killed all three civilians.

  • Mohammed Hashem Mohammed al-Yazji, 27.
  • His child Ameer, 5.
  • His brother ‘Aamer, 40.

In addition, three civilian bystanders sustained shrapnel wounds:

  • Shukri Salem al-Shukri, 78.
  • Marshoud Salah al-Mazloum, 39.
  • Rashed Salah al-Mazloum, 40.

The Israeli media reported that IOF sources have admitted the vehicle was attacked by mistake, and the target of the IOF attack was another vehicle, in which Palestinian resistance activists were traveling.

This attack demonstrates IOF blatant disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, who continue to be killed during extra-judicial executions carried out by IOF. According to PCHR’s research, 679 Palestinians, including 224 civilian bystanders (78 of them children) have been killed in extra-judicial executions committed by IOF since September 2000.

PCHR condemns this latest crime, and:

1. Asserts this crime is part of a series of continuous crimes committed by IOF in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) with total disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.

2. Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to stop such crimes, and calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention, Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to fulfill their obligation under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to search for and prosecute those who are responsible for perpetrating grave breaches of the Convention. Such breaches constitute war crimes according to Article 147 of the Convention and the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I).

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