Israeli shelling badly damages human rights offices

At about 1:50am Tuesday, 30 December 2008, Israeli F-16 fighter jets shelled a Palestinian police site in Gaza, which is 70 meters away from the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme’s (GCMHP) main building in Sheikh Ejleen on Gaza Beach. The shelling was part of the vicious military attacks that the Israeli army launched on Gaza starting 27 December 2008.

This harsh shelling caused massive destruction in the GCMHP’s main building, where walls and four ceilings cracked completely and partially. Extreme damage done to the furniture, equipment, electrical and electronic devices as well as the files and documents that were in the four-floor building, which contains offices, training halls, the main library and financial and administrative departments.

Luckily, the guard, who was in the premises, was not harmed. However, he was in a state of panic due to the strength of explosions.

As a result, the tremendous destruction to the building and its contents and equipment will force GCMHP to suspend its operations for some time, due to the necessity for renovation, before it can resume its work.

A number of management staff and members of the Board of Directors visited the Programme to evaluate the damage and make arrangements that ensures the protection of the building in these difficult times that Gaza is going through.

The Gaza Community Mental Health Programme denounces this brutal action and the attacks that target everything in Gaza. We call upon the international community to urgently intervene and make all their efforts to protect Palestinian civilians and institutions in Gaza, which are under real danger of death and destruction.

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