PNGO Calls for International Investigation in Gaza Strip Killings and Condemns Israeli Atrocities against Palestinians

Palestinian children hold remains of Israeli missiles during a demonstration to protest Israeli air strikes and call for international protection, outside the United Nations headquarters in Gaza City June 22, 2006. (MaanImages/Mohamed al-Zanon)

During the first two weeks of June 2006 alone, the Israeli Occupation Army killed 28 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Ghalia family lost seven members where the mother (Ra’eesa Ghaila, 35), the father (Ali Issa Ghalia, 49) and five of their children (Haitham, 5 months; Hanadi, 18 months; Sabreen, 4 years; Ilham, 15 years; and Alia, 17 years) were killed on June 9 when an Israeli gunboat stationed off the coast of Beit Lahia fired seven successive artillery shells at Palestinian families enjoying a summer day at the beach. An additional thirty-two Palestinians, including thirteen children were wounded during the same attack, some in serious condition.

On June 20, 2006, the Israeli Occupation Army carried out an extra-judicial execution attempt in northern Gaza Strip. Even though the attempt failed, three Palestinian children (Mohammad Jamal Shukri Rouqa, 6 years; Samia Mahmoud Ziad al-Sharif, 5 years; and Bilal Jasser al-Hissi, 16 years) were killed. In addition, fifteen Palestinians were wounded in that same attack.

Since the end of March 2006, the Israeli government (army) has launched over 6000 artillery shells and more than 80 air strikes against the densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip exposing Israel’s continued content on bombarding the Gaza Strip from air, sea and land.

The actions of the Israeli government continue to take shape of a sustained campaign of war crimes against Palestinians. Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: “Willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, including…willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person…or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial, …extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.” International and humanitarian laws classify an occupied people as ‘protected persons,’ and every signatory to the Fourth Geneva Convention, including the US, has an obligation to interfere and stop this cruel and inhumane Israeli collective punishment of Palestinians.

PNGO strongly condemns the criminal actions committed by the Israeli Occupation Army against the Palestinian people. Israel continues to ignore all international treatments, international human rights and humanitarian law. These crimes are accompanied by a harsh closure policy in both Gaza and West-Bank, the increasing isolation of communities, the ongoing invasion of cities and villages and the ongoing building of the Apartheid and Annexation Wall.

PNGO calls on the United Nations to deploy a team of international experts to the Gaza Strip, with a mandate to carry out an independent and thorough investigation into the growing number of killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

PNGO calls upon the international community, governments and international Human Rights organizations for immediate intervention into the ongoing Israeli military invasions in Gaza and pressure the Israeli government to end these atrocities. PNGO especially calls upon the international community to take immediate action to bring the Israeli perpetrators to international justice and call for an end of the ongoing occupation.

PNGO is appalled at the silence and inaction of the international community which was quick to impose sanctions against Palestinians for practicing their democratic rights in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections, and yet at the same time, this international community remains silent and is complicit to Israeli daily violations, of which most important, the daily murder of Palestinian children.

The Palestinian NGO Network is a civil and democratic body, which seeks to support, consolidate and strengthen the Palestinian civil society on the basis of the principles of democracy, social justice and sustainable development. It strives for the attainment of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people. It is a Palestinian NGO umbrella organization comprising 92 member organizations working in different developmental fields. PNGO was established in September 1993, after the signing of the Oslo Accords, with the objective of enhancing coordination, consultation and cooperation among the different sectors of civil society. Since then PNGO has become an important component of Palestinian society and serves as an essential coordination mechanism for the NGO sector at the local, regional and international level.

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  • BY TOPIC: Massacres in Gaza (June 2006)