Palestinian children killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza

Palestinians inspect a damaged car after an Israeli air strike in Gaza March 6, 2006. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)

On Monday evening, 6 March 2006, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) carried out another extra-judicial execution in Gaza City, leaving 5 Palestinians, including three children and two members of the al-Quds Brigades, dead. In addition, 12 civilian bystanders, including 6 children, were injured.

This latest attack comes following decisions taken by the Israeli political and military establishments to target Palestinian resistance activists, in response to the launching of locally made rockets from the OPT at Israel.

A private picture of Raed Ahmed Al-Batsh (L) and his brother Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Batsh (R) killed together at an explosion in Gaza March 6, 2006. (MaanImages/Stringer)

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 16:55 on Monday, 6 March 2006, an IOF aircraft launched a missile at a civilian car (white Peugeot) that was travelling on a side road in the al-Tuffah neighbourhood in the northeast of Gaza City. The car was destroyed. Two members of the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, who had been travelling in the car, and 3 children that had been passing nearby, were instantly killed: Muneer Mohammed Mohammed Sukkar, 29, from the al-Shojaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City; Ashraf ‘Ali Shallouf, 25, from the al-Shojaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City; Ra’ed Ahmed al-Batash, 11; Mahmoud Ahmed al-Batash, 17; and Ahmed al-Swaifi, 14.

In addition, 12 civilian bystanders, including 6 children and the father of 2 of the victims, were injured by shrapnel.

Shortly after the attack, an IOF spokesman announced that IOF had targeted the car, in which members of the Islamic Jihad had been travelling.

PCHR is deeply concerned over the recent escalation in such attacks by IOF and strongly condemns this latest crime, as well as previous attacks. In addition, this latest attack took place in a densely populated area of Gaza, reflecting the complete disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians when carrying out such operations. PCHR asserts that such crimes by IOF only serve to increase tension and threaten the lives of Palestinian civilians.

PCHR calls upon the international community to meet its responsibilities and calls particularly upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfil their obligations under the Convention to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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