IOF Continued Offensive on Gaza for 4th Consecutive Day:
5 Palestinians, Including a Child and an Old Man and His Daughter, Killed and 38 Others Wounded Since Yesterday Afternoon, Raising Deaths to 23 and Injuries to 73
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have continued the military offensive on the Gaza Strip, which they initiated on Friday evening, 09 March 2012. Today, 3 Palestinian civilians (a child and an old man and his daughter) have been killed and 36 others, including 19 children and 7 women, have been wounded. Two members of resistance have been killed, and two others have been also wounded by a series of Israeli air strikes. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of this offensive has risen to 23 and the number of those wounded has risen to 73, most of them civilians.
Investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) into alleged crimes committed by IOF from Friday evening, 09 March 2012 until Monday noon, 12 March 2012, indicate as follows:
At approximately 01:40 on Monday, 12 March 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at an agricultural plot on ‘Oujan Street in the east of al-Shuja’iya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. A number of nearby houses were damaged, and Ahlam ‘Arraf Jundiya, 18, was injured in her forehead by fragments of glass while she was at home.
At approximately 02:00 also on Monday, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a house belonging to Bahjat Mohammed Hammad near Jabalya Martyrs Elementary School in ‘Izbat ‘Abed Rabbu in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. The missile hit the first floor of the three-storey house, where 9 individuals, including 3 children live. As a result, the house was completely destroyed and 7 members of the family, including 3 children and 3 women, were wounded. Eighteen neighboring houses were also affected by the missile, 3 of them sustained heavy damages. Twelve members of the Abu al-‘Eish family, including 3 children and two women, and 7 members of the Sukkar family, including 5 children, were also wounded. The houses of the two families are adjacent to the targeted house. In addition, 350 windows, 7 wooden and 3 iron doors in the above school were damaged. Two windows from the Palestine Red Crescent Society premises were also destroyed.
At approximately 02:30, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a empty area in ‘Abassan village, east of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 05:40, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at Hamada Salman Ahmed Abu Mutlaq, 20, from ‘Abassan village east of Khan Yunis, a member of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad), when he was near Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Mosque in ‘Abassan village. Abu Mutlaq was instantly killed by shrapnel throughout the body. Additionally, windows of three nearby houses were destroyed, injuring the head of two-year-old Muhannad Eyad Abu Hamad.
At approximately 06:10, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at Sara Hill in the east of al-Shuja’iya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 06:40, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a empty area in al-Shuja’iya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 07:00, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at 3 members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad), who were traveling on a 3-wheel motorcycle near al-Radwan Mosque in al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis. One of the members of resistance, Ra’fat Jawad Adeeb Abu ‘Eid, 25, was killed by shrapnel throughout the body, while the two other members of resistance were wounded, one of them is in a serious condition as his legs were amputated.
At approximately 09:25, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a gathering of Palestinian civilians, mostly children, near al-Khuzondar fuel station in the west of the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. As a result, Nayef Sha’ban Nayef Qarmout, 14, was killed, and another 5 children were wounded by shrapnel.
At approximately 13:30, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at Mohammed Mustafa al-Hussoumi, 65, and his daughter Faiza, 30, when they were on their agricultural plot near Tal al-Za’tar School in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia. The old man was instantly killed, and his daughter died a few minutes after her admission in Kamal ‘Edwan Hospital in Beit Lahia.
PCHR reiterates condemnation of these crimes and expresses utmost concern over such escalation, especially in light to continuous Israeli threats, and:
1. Stresses that the IOF is committing grave breaches of international humanitarian law for using excessive and disproportional force in disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.
2. Calls upon the international community to immediately take an action to stop such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1 which stipulates "the High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances," and their obligations under Article 146 which requires that the Contracting Parties prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 and Protocol I Additional of the Geneva Conventions.