Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have continued their military operations in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive day in a manner unprecedented for several months. They have intensified air attacks targeting civilian facilities and paramilitary sites mostly of Hamas and the Executive force of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. IOF claim that these attacks have come in response to launching home-made rockets at Israeli towns. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, IOF have used excessive lethal force without any consideration to the principles of necessity and proportionality and in disregard to the lives of Palestinian civilians. Since Wednesday evening, 23 Palestinians, including nine civilians, have been killed and 86 others, including 31 civilians, have been wounded. In addition, five civilian facilities and several paramilitary sites have been destroyed and dozens of houses have been heavily damaged.
Attacks by IOF in a chronological order:
1) Hatem ‘Omar al-‘Amarin, 25, a civilian bystander;In addition, four members of the brigades and two civilian bystanders were wounded.
2) Saleh Mohammed ‘Ata Juha, 30;
3) Ahmed Rushdi Siam, 28;
4) Ahmed Saleh Siam, 30; and
5) Waleed Hashem al-Hajin, 29.
1) Ra’ed ‘Aatef Habeeb, 29; and
2) Muneer ‘Omar al-Jammal, 30.
1) Mohye al-Din Mohammed al-Serhi, 30;
2) ‘Emad ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ‘Aashour, 35; and
3) Jamal Khalil Mannaa’, 51.
Also on Sunday morning, IOF warplanes shelled two workshops in Nusairat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip and a shop of sonic sets in Beit Hanoun town. No casualties were reported, but the targeted civilian facilities were heavily damaged.
IOF also carried out six air raids at training sites and gatherings of activists of Hamas in the north and center of the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
PCHR is deeply concerned over this latest escalation in attacks by IOF, and:
1) Condemns these latest crimes which are part of a serious of continuous crimes committed by IOF in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, considering them a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian civilian population in violation of article 33 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
2) Stresses that IOF do not pay attention to the principles of necessity and proportionality in using their full-fledged arsenal against members of the Palestinian resistance, who are sometimes present in densely populated areas.
3) Reiterates condemnation for the policy of extra-judicial executions adopted by IOF against Palestinian activists, and asserts that this policy serves to increase tension in the region and threaten the lives of Palestinian civilians.
4) Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to stop such crimes, and calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to fulfill their obligation under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to search for and prosecute those who are responsible for perpetrating grave breaches of the Convention, as such breaches constitute war crimes according to Article 147 of the Convention and the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I).