The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupying forcers in Al shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City on Thursday, 1 May 2003, has increased to 12, including three brothers from the Abu Hain family.
Israeli occupying forces withdrew from the neighborhood at approximately 16:20, leaving large destruction to a number of homes that were shelled by Israeli tanks and helicopters.
According to PCHR’s investigation, at approximately 01:45, shortly after they had moved into the area, Israeli occupying forcers surrounded a number of homes belonging to the Abu Hain family until their withdrawal from the area. They throw hand grenades at one of those homes, where three brothers – Yousef, Ayman and Mahmoud - from the family had shelter. The Israeli forces called on the three brothers through megaphones to get out of the house, but they refused.
In the afternoon, Israeli forces fired several artillery and tank shells and shot heavy machine gunfire at the house, eventhough they were aware of the presence of the three brothers inside the house. The roof of the house collapsed on top of Yousef and Mahmoud, whereas the body of the third brother Ayman, was found near the house. He was shot by several live bullets throughout the body. Israeli occupying forces claimed that Yousef was wanted for his activities with the Hamas movement. Israeli forces also arrested two members of the family Yasser Abu Hain (25), a journalist, and Ussama Hassan Abu Hain (28).
As a result of the Israeli shelling, eight Palestinian homes, owned by the families of Abu Hain and Al – Sersawi, were severely damaged.
The 12th victim, Rami Khader Sa’ad (25) was killed by Israeli forces 5 minutes before their withdrawal from the area. He was shot by several live bullets throughout the body while he was returning fire to the Israeli forces.
PCHR is deeply concerned at this latest in a series of large-scale Israeli military attacks on Palestinian residential areas in the Gaza Strip, which have caused dozens of casualties among Palestinians and large-scale destruction to homes and other civilian property.
PCHR believes that the silence of the international community only serves to encourage Israel and its occupying forces to carry out further attacks against Palestinian civilians.
PCHR reminds the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of their legal obligations under the Convention to ensure respect for the Convention and take effective steps to stop violations of human rights perpetrated by Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.