Al Mezan Issues Statistical Report on Israeli Aggression Code-Named "Pillars of Defense"

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On 5 March 2013, The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights published a comprehensive statistical report about fatalities, injuries and losses of properties in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s latest aggression on the Gaza Strip code-named “Pillars of Cloud” which took place between 14 and 21 November 2012.

The report briefly highlights the rules and regulations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Human Rights Law (IHRL), and Convention on the Rights of Child, all relevant in the Palestinian case particularly during the Israeli aggression which targeted civilians, civilian objects, in addition to private and public properties.

The report presents Israeli violations inflicted on Palestinian civilians and damages done to civilian property in numbers. Al Mezan has regularly focused on child victims and how Israeli practices have violated children’s rights. According to the report, 168 persons, including 34 children, were killed while446 children were injured. Moreover, the report shows that 260 children have lost one of their parents. The IOF destroyed 2,153 houses including 133 houses which were totally damaged. The number of persons who were forcibly displaced is 20,925 including 9,259 children. This number includes 8,100 displaced persons including 3,480 children who were displaced as a result of warning leaflets dropped by Israeli planes on different areas in the Gaza and North Gaza districts on 20 November 2012. The number of children whose families’ agricultural lands were damaged is 176.

The report displays comprehensive statistics about losses and damages across the five districts in the Gaza Strip and gender-classifies them. It concludes that the numbers and facts indicated in the report demonstrate Israel’s disregard for its legal and moral obligation under IHL and IHRL and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It shows a glaring discrepancy between Israeli obligations and its practices on the ground.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reiterates its condemnation of the Israeli aggression and its attacks against Palestinian civilians, particularly children, and their property in the Gaza Strip and the ongoing restrictions on Palestinians in Gaza which are considered as a form of collective punishment in contravention of international law. It also condemns Israeli continuous attacks on schools, residential houses, and civil and public facilities.

Al Mezan views the ongoing Israeli violations of IHL and IHRL as a reflection of the failure of the international community to uphold its legal and moral obligations towards the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and in the Gaza Strip in particular. Al Mezan asserts the international community’s failure to take effective steps in order to end Israel’s violations has encouraged Israel to commit further crimes.

Al Mezan calls on the international community to promptly intervene to end Israeli violations of IHL and IHRL, to work towards the realization of justice and accountability in the oPt, and to pursue those who ordered or committed war crimes and bring them to justice.

Al Mezan stresses the importance of ending the international community’s grant of immunity with respect to violations of human rights and IHL in the oPt.