PCHR condemns in the strongest terms the latest assassination by Israeli occupying forces in Gaza city this afternoon in which at least one Palestinian was killed and at least 25 passersby were wounded, including 7 children. In the wake of this renewed escalation in attacks by the Israeli occupying forces on Palestinian civilians, PCHR reiterates its calls to the international community, particularly to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to take immediate measures to intervene to protect Palestinian civilians.
According to PCHR’s preliminary investigations, in an Israeli aerial attack around 15:15 this afternoon, four missiles were launched at a Palestinian car which was traveling along a branch road off el-Wahda Street. This is a main thoroughfare in central Gaza city and passes through a crowded civilian commercial and residential area. The first missile hit the roof of a three-storey apartment building, approximately 70 metres from the targeted vehicle. No casualties were reported. Three further missiles hit the targeted vehicle, a white Mitsubishi, totally destroying it and killing one of the passengers. Three additional passengers were able to escape the burning vehicle.
Emergency personnel arrived to the area and evacuated the dead and wounded to Shifa Hospital in Gaza city. The dead man was identified as Khader Badawi al-Hosari, 35, from Shejayia neighbourhood in Gaza city. Israeli military sources claimed that the four passengers in the targeted vehicle were all activists of the Hamas movement. At least 20 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children, were also injured in the attack and were evacuated for treatment to Shifa Hospital. According to medical sources, at least three of the wounded are in a critical condition.
This is the seventh assassination conducted by the Israeli occupying forces since 21 August 2003. At least 15 Palestinians have been killed in these attacks and dozens more wounded. Six of these assassinations, all by aerial attacks, were launched in densely populated civilian areas in the Gaza Strip. In the seventh attack, on 26 August, Israeli occupying forces opened fire on Rafadia Hospital in Nablus, killing one Palestinian and wounding two.
The increasingly high numbers of civilian casualties and property damage reflect the increasing disregard of the Israeli occupying forces for the safety of non-targeted civilians in conducting these assassination attacks. According to PCHR investigations, a 17 year-old boy and an 80 year-old man were among those bystanders killed in these recent attacks. Dozens of passersby were also wounded.
PCHR reiterates its condemnation of the ongoing war crimes, including willful killings of Palestinian civilians, perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories. PCHR is particularly concerned at the increasing officially sanctioned attacks on civilian areas. The failure of the international community to intervene to halt these unlawful attacks, serves to encourage further violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 - 2825893. PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. Website http://www.pchrgaza.org