Al Mezan Condemns Targeting its Member Anwar Al Zaaneen and a Water Maintenance Crew in Beit Hanoun and Calls for Immediate Investigation into this Crime

News and Press Release
Originally published

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the attack by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on its staff member, Anwar Al Zaaneen, 41, as he was with a water maintenance crew near his house in the town of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. This crime, which comes in a context of continuous IOF attacks on civilians and civilian objects, must be immediately investigated. Its perpetrators must be held to an account in accordance with international law.

According to the initial investigations by Al Mezan, at approximately 1:20 pm today, Sunday 10 July 2014, an IOF drone fired a missile at Anwar, who was near his house as he was speaking with a water maintenance crew from the Beit Hanoun municipality. He was checking with them whether the water supply to his house would be connected to the water network soon, as his family has been displaced in Jabalia for weeks. He had just reached the crew on his motorcycle when the attack occurred. Anwar and the two water technicians: Majdi Yousef Shabat, 41, and Sofyan Abu Harbeed, 40, were injured. Anwar's injuries were reported as critical and he has been in the Intensive Care Unit at the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City; pending a complicated surgery soon.

Al Mezan expresses its solidarity with Anwar and his family at this difficult time. Al Mezan also expresses deep concern by the continuous IOF attacks on civilians and civilian objects in the Gaza Strip. This crime must be condemned with the strongest terms, and must be investigated and prosecuted promptly, along with the hundreds of other crimes of directing armed attacks on civilians and civilian objects; including homes, hospitals, ambulances and IDP shelters.

Al Mezan reiterates that the silence of international community during the past weeks has allowed Israel to flagrantly disregard the most basic rules of international law and commit serious breaches of international humanitarian law, which evidence supports amounting to war crimes. International community must provide immediate protection for civilians in the Gaza Strip, including by insisting on credible and prompt investigations into the wide-scaled attacks on civilians.