Israeli Offensive on Gaza Ongoing for 7th Consecutive Day
Since the Begging of the Offensive:
- Palestinian Deaths Rise to 105, Including 70 Civilians; and 805 Others, Including 786 Civilians Wounded;
- 23 Children Killed and 223 Others Wounded;
- 12 Women Killed and 130 Other Wounded.
Over the past 24 hours, Israeli Occupation Forces have escalated attacks against Palestinian civilians, houses and civilian objects throughout the Gaza Strip, killing 18 Palestinians, including 12 civilians. The victims include 5 children.
The latest developments since the press release issued by PCHR yesterday noon, 19 November 2012, have been as follows:
The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli Occupation Forces in the course of the offensive on the Gaza Strip, that is ongoing for the seventh consecutive day, has increased to 105, including 70 civilians. The civilian deaths include 23 children and 12 women. Over the past 24 hours, Israeli forces have escalated attacks on houses. Israeli forces first fire warning missiles near targeted houses or order the residents to leave their homes without giving them any chance to vacate their belongings, as the periods between the warning and the major airstrikes by F-16 fighter jets are less than 10 minutes each. Israeli warplanes have also continued to attack civilian facilities, especially, press offices, which are located in apartment buildings, causing civilian casualties and destruction to nearby buildings.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) points out that Israeli forces have attacked sites of the Naval Police, offices of the Fishermen Syndicate, Gaza Sea Harbor and fishing boats and equipment from the air and the sea. As a result of these attacks, sites and fishing equipment have been destroyed. Since the beginning of this offensive, the 4,400 fishermen in Gaza have been prevented from fishing, deprived of their means of subsistence.
The Northern Gaza Strip:
Israeli warplanes have launched 39 airstrikes targeting houses, civilian vehicles, the building of the Governorate and various other objects. As a result of these attacks, 7 Palestinians, including 6 civilians, have been killed – this number includes 3 children. Additionally, 63 civilians, including 30 children and 10 women, were wounded.
At approximately 14:10 on Monday, 19 November 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a civilian car that was traveling in al-Saftawi Street in Jabalya, in which Hussam Fayez Hamdan Abdul Jawad, 32, was traveling. The car was destroyed and Abdul Jawad was killed. Two physicians who were traveling in a car nearby and were wounded, are: Fadel Mohammed Jousa, Director of al-Awda Hospital; and Yaqoub Mohammed Muhaisen, 35, Director of the Medicine Warehouse of the Union of Health Work Committees.
At approximately 19:20, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a house belonging to Fuad Khalil Hijazi, 46, in the north of Jabalya. The house was destroyed and Hijazi and his 3 children, 4-year old Mohammed and 2-year-old Suhaib, were killed, and 28 civilians, including 7 residents of the house, were injured.
At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at members of an armed group in al-Barrawi in Beit Lahia, killing one of them.
At approximately 08:35, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians in Beit Lahia, killing Yahia Akram Najeeb Marouf, 20.
At approximately 09:15, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of bird hunters on Hamada land in Beit Lahia, killing Yahia Mohammed Awadh, 17, and wounding his father.
Israeli forces have launched at least 10 airstrikes on Gaza City, targeting houses, the Islamic National Bank and the Jordanian Hospital. As a result of these attacks, a member of a Palestinian armed group has been killed, and 17 civilians, including 4 women, 5 children and 2 journalists, and a member of an armed group have been wounded.
At approximately 16:20 on Monday, 19 November 2012, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at the first floor of al-Shorouq building in Omar al-Mukhtar Street in al-Remal neighborhood in the center of Gaza City. The attack targeted the media office of Islamic Jihad, and a result of it, Ramez Najeeb Harb, 36, the media officer of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) was killed and another member of Islamic Jihad was wounded. Additionally, 2 journalists in other offices on the same floor were wounded: Ahmed al-Raizi, 28, correspondent of al-Arabiya news channel; and Mohammed al-Ashqar, from Hona al-Quds Television. It is worth noting that this attack was the second against the same building; it was also targeted 3 days ago.
At approximately 22:00 also on Monday, Israeli warplanes fired 3 warning missiles at a 3-storey house belonging to Hazem al-Hallaq in Tunisia Street in the south of Gaza City. No casualties were reported as the area had been already evacuated. Five minutes later, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at the roof of the Jordanian Hospital near the house.
At approximately 00:45 on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at the Islamic National Bank in al-Wihda Street near the Abu Khadra governmental compound in the center of Gaza City. The building was extensively damaged.
At approximately 03:00, an Israeli warplane fired a warning missile at a 750-square-meter, 3-storey house belonging to the sons of Ahmed Mohammed Aashour al-Khouli, in which 7 families counting 45 individuals live, in Gaza City. Soon, Israeli forces fired another warning missile at the house and phoned a member of the family to evacuate the house. The family immediately left the house. At approximately 06:00, an Israeli F-16 fighter jet bombarded the house, completely destroying it. A number of nearby houses and shops were heavily damaged.
The Central Gaza Strip:
Israeli warplanes have launched 31 airstrikes targeting agricultural plots, open areas, houses and members of Palestinian armed groups. As a result of these attacks, 8 Palestinians, including 4 civilians, have been killed. These civilians include 1 child and 1 mentally disabled person. 8 civilians, including 4 women and 1 child, have been also wounded.
At approximately 15:30 on Monday, 20 November 20122, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a member of an armed group in al-Hassaina area, killing him.
At approximately 15:50, also on Monday, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at an agricultural plot belonging to al-Mallahi family in al-Mughraqa village. As a result of the attack, Ameen Ramadan al-Mallahi, 35, was killed.
At approximately 16:40, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at al-Harthani area in the north of al-Nussairat refugee camp. As a result, Mohammed Zaidan Tbail, 25, who is mentally disabled, was killed; he was inside his house in the area.
At approximately 18:00, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at members of an armed group in the northeast of al-Boreij refugee camp, killing 2 of them.
At approximately 19:00, Israeli warplanes fired 4 missiles, including 3 warning ones, at a house belonging to Izziddin Hamdan in Block 3 in al-Boreij refugee camp, destroying it together with a nearby house.
At approximately 19:40, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of members of the Shihada family who were on their way home after a family visit in the north of al-Nussairat refugee camp. 2 members of the family were killed: Khalil Ibrahim Abdul Aziz Shihada, 56; and his nephew, 17-year-old Ussama Waleed Shihda. Khalil's wife was also wounded.
At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a member of an armed group when he was near his house in al-Mughraqa village, killing him and wounding his child.
Israeli warplanes have launched 18 airstrikes targeting several objects, including 2 houses, members of armed groups, paramilitary sites, a police station, agricultural areas and civilian offices. Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel shelled agricultural areas located near the border. As a result of these attacks, 7 Palestinians, including 5 civilians, have been wounded. This number includes 2 children and 1 elderly woman.
At approximately 01:40 on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, Israeli warplanes fired 2 warning missiles at a 2-storey house belonging to a member of an armed group in Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis. A few minutes later, Israeli F-16 fighter jets bombarded the house, completely destroying it. A number of nearby houses were heavily damaged and 1 civilian was lightly wounded.
At approximately 03:40, Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at a house belonging to Khamis Abu Anza and at nearby houses in Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis, apparently as a warning to evacuate these houses. At approximately 05:50, Israeli warplanes fired at least 2 missiles at a house, destroying it. A number of nearby houses were extensively damaged, but no casualties were reported.
At the same time, Israeli warplanes fired at least 2 missiles at two apartments. The apartments are used as offices for the Palestinian Teachers Forum, a syndicate body affiliated with Islamic Jihad, and al-Quds Company for Human Development. The apartments are on the first floor of an apartment building belonging to the heirs of Abdul Mouti al-Agha near the Grand Mosque in the center of Khan Yunis. The two apartments were destroyed and the second floor of the building was heavily damaged. A number of nearby shops were also extensively damaged, but no casualties were reported.
Israeli warplanes have launched 10 airstrikes targeting houses and agricultural areas. As a result of these attacks, 2 Palestinian civilians, including 1 child, have been killed and 11 others, including 6 children and 4 women, have been wounded.
At approximately 22:00 on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a tin-roofed house belonging to Taqwfiq Mamdouh al-Nassasra, 50, in al-Nasser neighborhood in the north of Rafah. The house was destroyed, and 2 members of the family, including 1 child, were killed: Ahmed Taqfiq al-Nassasra,17; and his brother Mohammed, 19. The other 9 members of the family, including 3 women and 5 children, were wounded.
PCHR reiterates condemnation, expresses utmost concern for these crimes, and:
- Warns of deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip in light of this continuous Israeli military escalation, threats to expand military operations, and the continued tightened closure of the Gaza Strip;
- Calls upon the international community to act immediately to stop these crimes, and renews the call to the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligation under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure that it is respected at all times, and their responsibilities under Article 146 to pursue perpetrators of serious violations of the Convention, which are determined in Article 147, which lists violations of the Convention amounting to war crimes;
- Calls for establishing an international fact-finding mission to investigate war crimes committed by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, and to take necessary measures to prosecute the perpetrators;
- Strongly condemns statements by some States regarding Israel’s right to defend itself while the number of Palestinian civilian victims, including children and women, is increasing; PCHR believes that such statements provide cover for Israel to continue to commit crimes against unarmed civilians.