Palestinian legislator assassinated, families murdered in Gaza

Palestinian firefighters respond to a fire at the United Nations Gaza headquarters after it was attacked by Israel, 15 January 2009. (Mohamed Al-Zanon/MaanImages)

1pm Gaza Time (+2hrs GMT)

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) has seriously escalated its attacks on the Gaza Strip during the past two days. Yesterday, the IOF assassinated Said Siam, a PLC member and Minister of Interior in the Government in Gaza. Israeli forces also advanced into several areas in the south and east of Gaza City, and heavily bombarded the neighborhoods of al-Shejaiya and al-Tuffah in the east of the City. After the invasion ended at 7am today, Al Mezan Center’s field workers entered the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood. Initial reports indicate that about 70 buildings have been destroyed or damaged by the IOF. Bulldozers razed paved streets and destroyed water, sewage and electricity networks in the neighborhood.

The IOF has targeted many homes in the invasion areas, people who are reportedly uninvolved in any armed, or even political activities. The IOF also targeted medical teams and prevented their access to people whose could have been saved.
At approximately 3am, on the same day, the IOF shelled with artillery the house of Fareed Shaban, which is located close to al-Rahma mosque in al-Sabra neighborhood. The shelling killed 22-year-old Ahmed Mezyin Shaban, and his 20-year-old Bilal.

At approximately 4am, on the same day, an IOF aircraft shelled 45-year-old Maher Khaled al-Beik while on his way to his house in Tel al-Hawa, close to the civil defense directorate.

At the same time, al-Shifa hospital announced the death of eight-year-old Muhammad al-Sayyid Akkila of his wounds sustained in IOF shelling five days ago.
At approximately 7am, on the same day, an IOF aircraft fired a missile that hit 25-year-old Haitham Abdul-Hafez Abdul-Aal, resident of al-Sabra neighborhood, while he was walking close to the Islamic Mojamma “Forum,” killing him on the sport.

At approximately 1am, on same day, an IOf fired a missile at a group of people who were fleeing their houses which are located in the area of the IOF incursion, in al-Sabrah neighborhood in southern Gaza. The shelling killed five of them who were identified as:

  • 46-year-old Zuheir Abdul-Hamid al-Aloul,
  • 35-year-old Ramadan Abdul-Hamid al-Aloul
  • 28-year-old Mohammed Zuheir al-Aloul,
  • 19-year-old Ahmed Zoheir al-Aloul
  • 27-year-old Iyad Fayiq Abu Asi

At approximately 10am, on the same day, the IOF shelled with artillery the house of Adel al-Jadba, which is located in the al-Tuffah neighborhood in eastern Gaza city, killing five family members, including two children. Those killed were identified as:

  • 15-year-old Asmaa Adel al-Jadba,
  • 12-year-old Shaimaa Adel al-Jadba,
  • 27-year-old Abdul-Azim Adel al-Jadba,
  • 45-year-old Khader Abdul-Ghaffar al-Jadba,
  • 50-year-old Diab Rajab Mqat.

At the same time, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at 18-year-old Hamdan Doghmosh, while he was trying to escape the area of his residence in al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza city.

At approximately 11am, on the same day, the IOF who were on top of one of a building in al-Tuffah neighborhood, opened fire at 16-year-old Mosbah Mohammed abu Sidou while he was on his way to purchase bread for his family, killing him on the spot.

At approximately 11:15am, an IOF aircraft hit al-Shurouq tower, which contains different news agencies and international satellite TVs, including Abu Dhabi, Fox News, Sky News, al-Arabia and MBC, Reuters and other media offices. The shelling injured journalists Mohammed al-Sweirki, and Ayman al-Ruzzi, Head of Abu Dhabi’s office in Gaza.

Earlier on the same day, the IOF shelled a Quraan Radio station in Palestine tower in central Gaza.

Al Mezan Center’s monitoring indicates that the IOF has killed 1,173 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since the start of its Operation Cast Lead on 27 December 2008. This includes at least 246 children and 82 women. The number of casualties is expected to be higher, since Al Mezan only reports on the cases which it has been able to verify. Moreover, 3,811 people have been injured, including at least 826 children and 473 women.

1. North Gaza District:

At approximately 1:05pm on Wednesday 14 January 2009, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile towards a crowd close to Baytuna Society in the al-Twam neighborhood in Jabaliya. One child was critically injured as a result.

At approximately 1:25pm on Wednesday IOF troops fired artillery shells towards al-Ghabbon neighborhood in the north of Beit Lahia. A shell hit a house near Zayd Ibn Haritha Primary School and killed a woman, Raja Mohammed Ghabin, 35. Another nine people were injured, including five children and a woman.

At approximately 1:35pm on Wednesday, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a car near Baytuna Society in the al-Twam neighborhood in Jabaliya. A passerby, 19-year-old Saif al-Din al-Firan, was killed in this attack.

At approximately 2pm on Wednesday, IOF troops fired artillery shells at the center of Jabaliya town. The shelling lasted for an hour. One shell hit the fifth floor of the house of Salem al-Naouq and cause severe damages. Another shell hit the house of Mohammed Musbah Abed-Rabu, injuring three of its residents, including a girl child who was critically injured. At 2:20pm, IOF fired artillery shells at the al-Shaima neighborhood north of Beit Lahia. A fire started in a house in the neighborhood; however, the IOF fired at a civil defense team that attempted to approach the house and prevented it from putting the fire off.

At approximately 3:20pm, also Wednesday, Israeli aircrafts fired a missile into a group of people opposite the Baytuna Society in the the al-Twam neighborhood in Jabaliya, killing one man, Mohammed Sa’eed Nasser, and injuring three others.
In the evening hours of Wednesday, medical teams found four corpses of a man and his three children in the al-Atatra area, southwest of Bait Lahia. According to Al Mezan’s investigations, the bodies were found under rubble and mud mounted on them by IOF bulldozers. It was not know if they were buried alive or dead. They were identified as:

  • Saadallah Matar Abu Rjila, 42; (and his three sons)
  • Zaid Saadallah Abu Rjila, 10;
  • Abdul-Rahman Saadallah Abu Rjila, 11; and
  • Hamza Saadallah Abu Rjila, seven.

At approximately 6:09pm on Wednesday, Israeli aircraft fired a missile into a group of civilians in the al-Karama neighborhood in the south of Jabaliya, injuring nine people, including three children. Ten minutes later, medical teams found the corpses of three men in the same area. They were identified as:

  • Haytham Abu al-Kumsan, 20;
  • Hamdi Fareed Abu Hamada, 27; and
  • Iyad al-Maqqousi, 27.

At approximately 4:50pm on Wednesday, ambulances accompanied an UNRWA [the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees] team to bring the corpse of an UNRWA staff member who was killed on 5 January in his house in Ezbet Abed-Rabu, east of Jabaliya. His corpse was found decomposed in the house. As reported in previous press releases, IOF had fired at a UN convoy that tried to access the victim’s house on 8 January.

At approximately 5pm on Wednesday, IOF fired shells — believed to be white phosphorus bombs — at the Amer and al-Israa areas in North Gaza district. Five minutes later, Israeli naval vessels shelled these areas as well as the Anan and al-Karama neighborhoods.

At 10:30pm, also on Wednesday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Jamal Abu Awwad, which is located in a densely populated area in Block Two of Jabaliya refugee camp. One child, Bilal Jamal Abu Awwad, 17, was killed. The house was destroyed completely.

As reported in yesterday’s press release, starting at 8:10am, IOF started artillery shelling on northern Beit Lahia town. Shells hit the house of Irmilat family, killing five civilians: an elderly woman and four children. They were identified as:

  • Ayisha Ayyad Irmilat, 80;
  • Sabrin Atta Hassan Irmilat, 15; (and her sisters)
  • Bara Atta Hassan Irmilat, two;
  • Areej Atta Hassan Irmilat, nine months; and
  • Amal Atta Hassan Irmilat, 14;

Another woman was also injured in this attack.

Three civilians were injured as the IOF fired four artillery shells at the al-Katatwa neighborhood in Jabaliya refugee camp at approximately 8:40am on Thursday.

At 9:50am Thursday, IOF shelled the al-Farata area in Beit Hanoun. At least one child was injured, as a result. He was identified as Ihab Akram al-Kafarneh, six. Another three people were injured when artillery shells hit Tel al-Zaatar neighborhood and Blocks Three and Four in Jabaliya.

At approximately 11am also Thursday, Israeli aircrafts fired a missile at a group of civilians who were sitting in front of a neighbor’s house in the al-Jurun neighborhood of Jabaliya town. As a result, four of them were killed and five injured, including a woman. Those who were killed were identified as:

  • Sameeh Mohammed al-Naouq, 38;
  • Mohammed al-Naouq, 72;
  • Abdul-Latif Mohammed al-Naouq, 55; and
  • Mohammed Ahmad Abdullah, 60.

At approximately 1:15pm on Thursday, medical teams found the corpse of a 20-year-old near the Uthman Ibn Affan School in Jabaliya. No information about his death has been available.

At approximately 1:50pm, IOF destroyed a private water-well in the al-Farata neighborhood in Beit Hanoun. Troops opened fire at houses in the area, injuring two civilians, including a child.

At 2pm on Thursday, IOF troops fired artillery shells towards al-Sultan Abdul-Hamid Street and Ezbet Beit Hanoun areas, injuring two civilians, including a woman. Later, at 2:45pm, IOF shelled the al-Bora neighborhood in Beit Hanoun with artillery. Several houses near the Ghassan Kanafani Society were damaged, and two children were critically injured. At 4:30pm, IOF’s artillery hit the Islamic Society in the town, causing severe damage to its building and starting a fire in it.

In Jabaliya, Israeli aircrafts fired missiles at a house in Block Four in the refugee camp, destroying it and injuring three people. At approximately 8:35pm, artillery shells hit the al-Sultan apartment compound, causing fires in its two first floors.

At 8pm on Thursday, Israeli aircrafts fired with missiles a group of men in the al-Karama neighborhood, killing three of them. When people in the neighborhood tried to aid them, aircrafts fired a second missile at them, killing two cousins. The victims were identified as:

  • Mohammed Issa al-Shrafi, 25;
  • Abdullah al-Souri, 23;
  • Amir Abu Ryialeh, 23; (and two cousins who tried to help)
  • Emad Hassan al-Najjar, 26; and
  • Emad Saeed al-Najjar, 32.

At 3am today, Friday 16 January 2009, medical sources announced the death of the 44th victim of the IOF shelling of al-Fakhora School [shelled on 6 January 2009]. The victim was identified as Usama Jamal Eid, 21. It was also announced that another child, Mohammed Abu Eideh, 17, who was injured when IOF bombarded the al-Falouja neighborhood in Jabaliya, died at a hospital. At 1pm Friday, medical teams found the corpse of a man near the Uthman Ibn Affan School in the al-Twam neighborhood. The man was identified as Adil Sabri Abu al-Ouf, 27.

At 9:15am, also Friday, IOF troops fired seven artillery shells at the vicinity of the al-Ihsan Mosque, close to the al-Sultan apartment compound, killing a girl child, Rawan Ismail al-Najjar, and injuring a boy, Mousa Mohammed al-Munthir, as they walked in the area.

Meanwhile, more reports from the field indicate that the IOF has started to demolish homes in the Abed-Rabu and al-Qirim neighborhoods in eastern Jabaliya. It is estimated that between 40 and 50 homes have been demolished by IOF so far.

2. Gaza City District:

At approximately 1:05pm Wednesday, 14 January 2009, Israeli aircraft raided an apartment owned by 38-year-old Emad Yousef Abdul-Raouf Rajab, which is located in the ninth floor of the Arous al-Bahr apartment complex. The complex is located in the western Nasser neighborhood of Gaza City. One person was injured as a result.

At approximately 6:10pm on the same day, an IOF aircraft hit the apartment of 63-year-old Khalil Ali Jaber, which is located in the 11th floor of the al-Maqousi apartment compound (No. 11) northwest of Gaza City. The attack killed Jaber and his 50-year-old wife Shadia Ahmed Hasan.

At the same time, an Israeli aircraft raided the apartment of 47-year-old Jamal Taha Mghamez, which is located in the ninth floor of the same apartment complex (No. 10). The attack killed Mghamez in the spot and set fire to his apartment and other apartments in the compound.

At approximately 7pm, an Israeli aircraft shelled the civil defense building, close to the same al-Maqousi apartment complex, injuring six civil defense personnel.

Earlier at approximately 4pm on Wednesday, an Israeli aircraft raided an apartment owned by 57-year-old Tawfiq Firas, in the 12th floor of the al-Fairouz apartment complex (No. 3) which is located in the far north of the Beach refugee camp. The owner of the apartment was killed as a result.

At the same time, Israeli aircraft raided the apartment of 41-year-old Nidal Abdul-Raouf Al-Bayoumi, injuring his 35-year-old wife Hala Zaki al-Bayoumi, who was reported to have seriously injured. The apartment is located in the ninth floor of the apartment compound (No. 2).

At approximately 5pm, also Wednesday, IOF artillery intensively shelled an open area close to the house of Mohammed Kamel Imqat, which is located in al-Zarqaa neighborhood, northeast of Gaza City, killing 17-year-old Samir Mohammed Kamel Imqat.

On the same day, an IOF aircraft shelled 17-year-old Hammam Mohamed al-Kodari and 17-year-old Sameh Mohammed Abu Aser, while they were walking close to their houses on al-Nazzar Street, killing them on the spot.

At approximately 8pm Wednesday, Israeli aircraft raided al-Yarmouk Public Market, which is located north of al-Yarmouk playground in central Gaza City. No injuries were reported.

At approximately 9pm, on the same day, an IOF aircraft bombarded the house of 48-year-old Ezzadin Waheed Mousa, which is located close to al-Sabra Pharmacy, in the al-Sabra neighborhood, in southern Gaza City. The attack killed the man, his 48-year-old wife, Samira Afif Mousa, his three sons Waheed, 28, Ahmed, 27, Mohammed, 22, and his daughter Nour, 15.

At approximately 10pm Wednesday, an Israeli aircraft targeted a civilian car while it was moving close to Barcelona Park in Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, killing several passengers, who were identified as:

  • 22-year-old Riad Raee;
  • 32-year-old Waleed al-Zabout;
  • 32-year-old Mazen al-Tash;

At approximately 1am on Thursday 15 January 2009, about 40 IOF tanks and armored vehicles moved into the southern suburbs of the City coming from the former settlement of Nitzarim. They penetrated the neighborhoods of al-Zeitoun, al-Sabra and Tel al-Hawa, in the deepest incursion into Gaza City since the start of the ground invasion. IOF fired artillery and machine gun fire extensively. It also used guided missiles and what is believed to be white phosphorus bombs. As a result, 19 people, the cast majority of whom civilians, were killed in the neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa.

At approximately 1am on the same day, an Israeli aircraft raided a group of people who were close to al-Bashir Mosque in al-Shaaf area, in eastern Gaza City, injuring many of them. Once residents of the area rushed to scene of the attack to help the wound, an IOF aircraft fired another missile that killed seven persons. Those who were killed were identified as:

  • 27-year-old Ayman Mohammed Amari;
  • 25-year-old Fayiz Wajeeh al-Rifai;
  • 42-year-old Fayiz Shaban al-Bahtiti;
  • 19-year-old Ahmed Fayiz al-Bahtiti;
  • 17-year-old Saeb Fayiz al-Bahtiti;
  • 20-year-old Ahmed Ata al-Kitnani;
  • 20-year-old Soheil Yousif al-Safadi.

At approximately 11:45am on the same day, the IOF fired thee shells — believed to be phosphorous bombs — at UNRWA warehouses, setting them on fire. At approximately 10:15am that same day, the IOF fired an artillery shell at the UNRWA Headquarters in Gaza City, causing damages to the main meeting room and its cars parked there.

At approximately 10:45am that same day, the IOF shelled 50-year-old UNRWA employee Nidal al-Weheidi while he was driving an UNRWA jeep.

At approximately 1:30am that same day, the IOF fired artillery shells at the house of Alaa al-Din al-Amassi, which is located in central al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza City, killing his 19-year-old Jihad Alaa al-Din al-Amassi.

IOF’s incursion into Tel al-Hawa, which started at 1am on Thursday 15 January 2009, ended at 7am today. The neighborhood sustained enormous destruction in its buildings and roads. IOF tanks ran over dozens of private cars. Other cars and property were destroyed as bombs, believed to be white phosphorus, hit them.
At 2pm on Thursday 15 January 2009, IOF troops fired artillery shells at the Pharmacy Department in the al-Quds Hospital, which belongs to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, in Tel al-Hawa. Artillery shells also hit the ambulance park in the hospital, causing a fire. The hospital has had to evacuate its patients and personnel and transfer them to other hospitals in Gaza City. Moreover, IOF artillery targeted the al-Hidaya and al-Sahwa Mosques in the neighborhood, destroying two minarets. Artillery shells also hit Balqis Secondary School and the Rosary School during the incursion.

At 4pm on Thursday, the bodies of a man and his two child sons arrived at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Investigations revealed that the IOF had fired artillery into their house during its incursion. They were identified as:

  • Fathi al-Qirim, 42; ( and his two sons)
  • Ismat Fathi al-Qirim, 12; and
  • Alaa Fathi al-Qirim, less than a year.

The IOF targeted numerous homes in the area. It also many civilians who tried to flee from the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood and blocks around it, which were under IOF fire during the incursion. At 1:05pm on Thursday, 15 January 2009, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a family who were trying to flee their homes near al-Salih apartment compound in Tel al-Hawa. As they were getting into their car, the missile exploded among them, killing the parents and their son and daughter. The victims were identified as:

  • Udai Salama al-Haddad, 50;
  • Ihsan Mohammed al-Haddad, 45;
  • Hatim Udai Salama al-Haddad, 21;
  • Ayya Udai Salama al-Haddad, 15.

At 2pm, Israeli aircrafts fired a missile at a man and his girl child as they tried to flee from the same area, killing the nine-year-old child, Hanin Fadil al-Batran, and injuring her father, Fadil al-Batran, who works as a guard in an apartment compound in the neighborhood.
At 4:10pm, also Thursday, Israeli aircraft bombarded the house of Mohammed Siam, which is located in the al-Yarmouk neighborhood in central Gaza City. The attack killed 10 people, including Palestinian Legislative Council member and Minister of Interior, Mr. Said Siam, 50; his son, Mohammed; his brother Iyad; his sister-in-law Samah Atyieh Syam; and Mohammed Ismail Syam. Five other people were killed in this attack, including three children who lived in a neighboring house. They were identified as:

  • Hossam Mohammed Isleem, 10;
  • Ahmad Mohammed Isleem, 14;
  • Sahar Shaban Isleem, 16;
  • Iman Abdul-Qadir Isleem, 20; and
  • Mohammed Nabil Isleem, 20.

Another 13 people were injured in this attack. Later, Israeli officials announced that the attack represented a “liquidation” of the Minister. The targeted two-story house was rented and owned by Fathi Sadyieh.
At 2pm, also Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided an apartment owned by Ali Hussein in the al-Maqousi apartment complex, northwest of Gaza City. As a result, two young men were killed. They were identified as:

  • Suheil Ali Hussein, 19; and
  • Mohammed Majid Ali Hussein, 18.

3. Cental Gaza District:

At 10:30am on Wednesday, 14 January 2009, medical sources announced the death of Ramzi Rawhi Awadh, 25. Awadh, who is from al-Bureij refugee camp, had sustained critical injured as Israeli aircraft targeted him and another man. Later, at 3:40pm on Wednesday, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a house in al-Mughraqa village, killing a 13-year-old child, who was identified as Mahmoud Khader Abu Kmeel. A relative of the child was also injured as they were in front of the child’s house.

At approximately 7:30pm, also on Wednesday, IOF troops fired shells which are believed to be white phosphorus bombs at a residential neighborhood in the north of al-Buriej refugee camp. Fifteen civilians suffered from serious respiratory troubles, including five women and three children. Many houses were damaged.
At approximately 5:30am on Thursday, 15 January 2009, IOF troops fired artillery shells near the al-Jadid refugee camp in al-Nuseirat, injuring five civilians, including a child and a woman. Several houses were damaged in the attack.
At 7am on Thursday, IOF troops fired shells which are believed to be white phosphorus bombs at a residential neighborhood in the northwest of the town of Deir al-Balah. Four civilians suffered from serious respiratory troubles, as a result.

At approximately 2:20pm on Thursday, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at two men as they were in their field in the al-Jadid refugee camp in al-Nuseirat. The two were critically injured, as a result. Earlier, at 2pm, Israeli aircraft raided the former Presidential Guard base in Deir al-Balah town, injuring three persons.

At approximately 7:30pm on Thursday, IOF troops fired shells which are believed to be white phosphorus bombs at a residential neighborhood in the east of the al-Buriej refugee camp. Several civilians suffered from serious respiratory troubles. Six houses and a mosque were damaged.

Many of the residents of Wadi al-Salq village escaped their village after Israeli aircraft raided farms in its vicinity, but particularly after IOF troops fired shells which are believed to be white phosphorus bombs at the village. Dozens of civilians took refuge in an UNRWA school in the nearby Deir al-Balah town.

At 3:30am on Friday, 16 January 2009, Israeli aircraft fired a missile that struck the house of Kamal Abu Naji in al-Nuseirat refugee camp. Two of the house residents were injured, including a child.

4. Khan Younis District:

At approximately 6:30pm on Wednesday, 14 January 2009, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Khalid al-Najjar, which is located in Khuzaa village east of Khan Younis. The house was turned into rubble as this was the second raid on it.

Ten minutes later, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a bicycle in the al-Qarara village, north to Khan Younis, killing a child, Ezadin Adil al-Farra, 14, and injuring another, Abed Mahmoud al-Farra, 16.

At approximately 6pm on Thursday, 15 January 1009, IOF tanks invaded the area near Sufa Crossing and al-Fukhari neighborhood, southeast of Khan Younis. The incursion was still ongoing at the time this release was drafted.

5. Rafah District:

IOF special forces took sniper positions in the Abu Hatab neighborhood east of Rafah town. At approximately 1pm on Thursday, 15 January 2009, snipers shot two brothers, killing one immediately: Ahmad Fuad Thabit, 24; and injuring the other, Ibrahim Fuad Thabit, 22. The wounded brother called Al Mezan’s field worker in Rafah and asked for help to be sent. The Center’s field worker contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross and other institutions; however, the IOF refused to allow ambulances to reach the victims. In the evening, two ambulance crewmen took the risk and headed to the area, only to find the two brothers and another two men dead. The two other men were identified as Mustafa Kamil Baraka, 45, and Rasmi Abu Jarir, 40.

At approximately 10:25pm on Thursday, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the Hamdan Hall, which is located near Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. The hall was destroyed and the hospital’s building was severely damaged.

At 1pm today, 16 January 2009, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a young man and killed him immediately. The man was identified as Hamouda Faris, 21.
More attacks by the IOF were conducted during the period covered by this release. A modified copy of it will be produced tomorrow morning.

Al Mezan Center, and based on its monitoring, strongly condemns the deliberate targeting of civilians inside their homes, and as they tried to flee from IOF bombardment. The Center asserts that the IOF’s acts represent scandalous war crimes that must be investigated and punished. It is urgent that the international community intervenes immediately to prevent the perpetration of more crimes, especially as the IOF’s incursions and indiscriminate attacks continue at this moment.

Al Mezan Center therefore renews its strong condemnation of the IOF’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, and its flagrant disregard of the applicable rules of international law. This behavior has so far cost the lives of hundreds of civilians and the suffering of hundreds of thousands.

Al Mezan renews its outrage by the, partly complicit, failure of the international community to prevent such violations of international law. While civilians are being murdered, the UN Security Council continues to fail to take meaningful, effective action, thus trading off non-derogable human rights and peremptory rules of international law for political considerations. War must not be allowed to be conducted in the way it is happening in Gaza, where civilians are willfully targeted, killed, maimed and strangulated to near death.

Al Mezan Center calls upon the UN Secretary General, as a matter of utmost urgency, to focus on the protection of civilians who are the main victims of Israel’s violation of international law. Political debates can wait, however, civilian life cannot be compensated. The United Nations is called on to ensure the compliance with international law and the protection of civilians, including its own staff. Every hour of aggression on Gaza in the way we have witnessed during the past 16 days means the loss of more civilian life, destruction of property and extending the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people who should be protected, not neglected.

Al Mezan Center also calls on the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War, of 1949, to live up to their legal and moral responsibilities upholding their own obligations under Common Article 1, by respecting, and ensuring respect of, the Convection.

The Center, while commending the worldwide action against these violations, calls on civil societies around the world to exert more pressure on their governments so that they act in conformity with the relevant human rights and humanitarian obligations as prescribed in relevant international law.

This press release has been edited.

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