Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have continued their aggression on the Gaza Strip for the third day. On Saturday and Sunday, 24 and 25 September 2005, IOF launched 10 aerial attacks that extra-judicially killed four Palestinians, injured at least twenty others and destroyed a number of civilian facilities. On Monday morning, 26 September 2005, IOF launched five new aerial attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, which destroyed or damaged a number of houses and workshops and injured three Palestinian civilians, including two women.
Israeli F-16 fighter jets have continued to launch side raids throughout the Gaza Strip, which have destroyed façades and windows of many houses and civilian buildings and terrified Palestinian civilians, especially children. In addition, IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the Gaza Strip. These attacks are a result of differences inside the Israeli government and Palestinians pay the price.
According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 19:40 on Sunday, 25 September 2005, IOF extra-judicially killed two members of the Islamic Jihad, when Israeli military aircrafts launched a missile at their car that was traveling on the costal road in Sheikh ‘Ejlin area in the southwest of Gaza Strip. The car was destroyed while the two members were inside. The two victims were identified as: Mohammed Khalil al-Sheikh Khalil, 32; and Nasser Mohammed Barhoum, 35. Four civilian bystanders were injured by shrapnel.
At approximately 02:15 on Monday, 26 September 2005, Israeli F-16 fighter jets launched three missiles at the southern entrance of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Only one of the missiles exploded. It destroyed a maintenance workshop for agricultural equipment belonging to Khamis Hussein al-Majdalawi; damaged a factory of plastics; and injured Leila Salem Abu Hashish, 20, while she was in her home. The other two missiles made a deep crater in the ground, but did not explode.
At approximately 04:00 on the same day, Israeli military aircrafts launched two missiles at Martyr Majdi al-Khatib Centre, which belongs to the Fatah movement in the center of Rafah. The centre was partially destroyed and a neighboring house belonging to Radi Riad Qeshta was also damaged.
Ten minutes later, Israeli military aircrafts launched a missile at an uninhabited house belonging to Hisham ‘Abed Rabbu, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in Khan Yunis refugee camp. The house was destroyed; 6 neighboring houses where 45 individuals live were damaged; and Khaled Mohammed Gannan, 48, and his wife Halima Gannan, 43, were injured by shrapnel.
At approximately 04:20, Israeli military aircrafts launched a missile at a workshop belonging to ‘Omran Khalil ‘Omran in Ma’an village, east of Khan Yunis. A neighboring paint factory was also damaged.
At approximately 04:40, Israeli military aircrafts launched a missile at a workshop belonging to the family of Hajj Mousa Ahmed Abu Sha’ban in ‘Asqoula neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. The workshop was severely damaged. The same workshop was attacked by IOF more than once during the al-Aqsa Intifada.
In a step that aims at imposing more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and seizing more land, the Israeli military liaison informed the Palestinian side this morning that Palestinians would be prohibited from moving within a 650-meter perimeter of the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
PCHR strongly condemns this serious escalation in attacks by IOF, which proves that IOF continue to substantially occupy the Gaza Strip, despite the recent evacuation of Israeli settlements. PCHR is gravely concerned that a green light given to IOF by the Israeli government, allowing them to launch wide scale attacks, including extra-judicial killings and incursions in the Gaza Strip, will result in more casualties among Palestinian civilians. Consequently, PCHR calls upon the international community and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to immediately intervene to stop further deterioration and to protect Palestinian civilians from military operations conducted by IOF in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.