Israeli forces kill at least 11 Palestinians in Gaza incursion

A member of the al-Qassam Brigades inspects a car that was targeted in an Israeli air strike on Gaza, 27 June 2007. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, 27 June 2007, IOF conducted two incursions into the town of Khuza’a to the east of Khan Yunis and into Sheja’eya Quarter in the eastern part of Gaza City. Up to the publication of this report, these incursions resulted in the death of 11 Palestinians. Among those killed are six civilians, including two children and two brothers. In addition, 50 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been injured. In the afternoon, IOF withdrew from Sheja’eya, leaving behind considerable destruction. The incursion into Khuza’a continued at the time of publication. In light of this escalation and the persistence of IOF military operations, PCHR is concerned over the falling of additional civilian victims. It is noted that this escalation coincides with the continued hermetic closure of the Gaza Strip imposed two weeks ago, thus threatening to cause a humanitarian crisis in the Strip.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 15:30 on 27 June 2007, IOF armored vehicles, supported by military aircraft, moved nearly 1.5 kilometers into the town of Khuza’a to the east of Khan Yunis. IOF troops stormed a number of residential houses in Abu Reida neighborhood in the town; and transformed many of these homes into military outposts and held residents as hostages. Palestinian resistance activists confronted the IOF troops. Sporadic clashes continued till time of publication. These clashes resulted in the killing of two resistance activists and the injury of two others. The activists killed are:

  • Deya Mohammad Abu Daqqa (24), killed by a bullet to the chest.
  • Husam Abdallah Abu To’ema (24) killed by a bullet to the head.
  • IOF is calling upon all males aged 15-50 to come out of their homes and gather in one of the town squares.

    At approximately 5:00 on 27 June 2007, IOF armored vehicles, supported by military aircraft, moved into Sheja’eya Quarter in the eastern part of Gaza City. IOF fired a shell at two civilians, killing them instantly:

  • Nafez Mahmoud Hilles (27).
  • Ahmad Ayyad Hilles (16).
  • Ten civilians, including a child, a girl, and an elderly man, were injured by indiscriminate IOF shelling and fire against civilian houses.

    At approximately 7:30, an IOF plane committed an extra-judicial execution by hitting a civilian vehicle in Baghdad Street in Sheja’eya. The driver, Ra’ed Amin Abu Fannouna, was killed instantly. He was a member of Al-Quds Battalions, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad.

    Using disproportionate force, IOF killed four civilians in Sheja’eya at approximately 11:30. Among the civilians were a child and two brothers. IOF fired a shell at a group of four civilians standing in front of the house of Sa’id Jundeya in El-Muntar Street in Sheja’eya. The shell fell in the middle of the group and killed them instantly. The victims are:

  • Izzedeen Sa’id Jundeya (14).
  • Hazem Eyad Jundeya (23).
  • Yusef Kamal El-Manasra (18).
  • Sami Kamal El-Manasra (28).
  • In the afternoon, Shifa Hospital announced the death of a resistance activist, Anan Abdel Aziz El-Ar’eer (24), of wounds sustained in the morning. In addition, IOF fired a tank shell at a group of resistance activists, killing one of them instantly: Yousef Khalil Juha (22).

    In addition, to the 10 injured civilians mentioned above, another 40 wounded from Sheja’eya were admitted to Gaza City hospitals. Most of the injured are unarmed civilians injured by IOF indiscriminate shelling of civilian houses.

    In the afternoon, IOF ended the incursion into Sheja’eya and withdrew to the Gaza Strip border, leaving behind considerable destruction in civilian houses, property, and agricultural areas.

    In light of this IOF escalation, PCHR:

  • Condemns these crimes that are a continuation of Israeli war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), which reflect indifference and negligence towards civilian lives. The Centre views these actions as a form of collective punishment and reprisals that violate Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949).
  • Points to the fact that IOF do not respect the principles of necessity and proportionality when employing its lethal military capabilities in civilian areas, causing additional casualties among the civilian population.
  • Condemns the IOF policy of extra-judicial executions against Palestinian activists, and stresses that this policy increases tension in the area and threatens the lives of Palestinian civilians.
  • Calls upon the international community to intervene immediately to stop these crimes; and calls upon the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their responsibility under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure that it is respected under all circumstances. In addition, the Centre calls upon the High Contracting Parties to fulfill their responsibilities under Article 146 of the Convention to prosecute persons suspected of committing serious violations of the Convention, and the responsibilities under Article 147 of the Convention stipulating the protection of civilians in occupied territories.

    Related Links

  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights