Israeli forces kill Gaza mother in front of her children

Palestinian relatives of killed Hamas fighter Hisham Shomer, 25, cry during his funeral in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya, 6 May 2008. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)


The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the killing of a mother in front of her children yesterday, during an Israeli incursion into New Abasan town, east of Khan Younes.

PCHR investigations indicate that at approximately 14:30pm on Wednesday, 7 May, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) troops raided the house of Majdi Abd al-Raziq al-Daghma during an incursion into New Abasan.

The troops opened the outside metal door, then blew up the wooden interior door. The force of the blast killed 33-year-old Wafa Shaker al-Daghma instantly. The IOF troops then stormed into the house and covered her body with a rug, having ascertained that she was dead. The troops then detained her three children, who had all witnessed the killing of their mother, in one of the rooms of the house. A soldier remained on guard at the entrance to the room. The children, who included a two-year-old, were confined inside the room for the next six and a half hours.

At approximately 11:00pm the children were finally able to leave the room after the IOF withdrew from the house. Twelve-year-old Samira ran to a neighboring house, and the neighors called an ambulance. Wafa Shaker al-Daghma’s body was immediately transferred to Naser hospital in Khan Younes.

In addition to the killing of Wafa Shaker al-Daghma one Palestinian resistance member was also killed, and 23 others were injured. IOF also damaged 22 houses, destroying several in the process.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:

  • Reiterates its condemnation of the killing of Wafa al-Daghma, which represents a continuation of Israeli war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and is another clear indicator of IOF disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians. The Centre considers these actions to be acts of reprisal and collective punishment, and therefore in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949).
  • Affirms that IOF uses excessive force against Palestinian civilians without any threat to the lives of IOF troops, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.
  • Calls upon the international community to act immediately to stop these crimes, and renews the call to the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligation under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure that it is respected at all times, and their responsibilities under Article 146 to pursue perpetrators of serious violations of the Convention, which are determined in Article 147 that lists violations of the Convention amounting to war crimes.

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