In the evening of 30 October 2007, Israeli warplanes fired rockets at a police station in the southern Gaza Strip and killed four policemen in the police force of the dismissed government in Gaza. Israeli military sources commented on this crime by saying that “the air strike that [has been] relatively rare recently is an indication that Israel will not continue to exhibit restraint towards the firing of mortars at Israeli population centers.” PCHR expresses concern over the Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip, and calls upon the international community to intervene to stop these crimes. This week alone, the Centre has documented the death of 15 Palestinians in the Strip as a result of Israel aerial and land bombardment that disregards the civilian nature of targeted areas.
The Center’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 21:40 on 30 October 2007, Israeli war planes fired two rockets at a police station in the town of New Abasan to the east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. The rockets hit the entrance of the station, where the four policemen were on guard duty. They were killed instantly, and their bodies were dismembered. The victims are:
- Maher Shehda Abu Teir (25)
- Bilal Ibrahim Awwad (22)
- Ismail Suliman Qudeih (23)
- Mahmoud Jamal Radwan (21)
PCHR expresses great concern over the continued escalation of the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), and:
1. Renews condemnation of these actions that are part of a continuous series of Israeli war crimes in the OPT. These war crimes clearly show Israel’s total disregard for the lives of the civilian population. These actions are forms of reprisal and collective punishment that violate Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949).
2. Calls upon the international community to act immediately to stop these war crimes; and calls upon the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their responsibility to ensure that the Convention is respected by all parties, their responsibility to pursue suspected perpetrators of serious violations of the Convention under Article 146, noting that these serious violations are considered war crimes under Article 147 of the Convention and in the First Optional Protocol Additional to the Convention.