On Wednesday and Thursday, 8-9 August 2018, the Israeli air forces launched about 110 missiles in 45 raids on security sites, populated areas, empty fields, and public property in the Gaza Strip. Israeli artillery also directed attacks at most of the neighborhoods in eastern Gaza. Three Palestinians, of them a pregnant woman and her daughter, were killed, and 18 others, including six children and two women, were injured in the attacks.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights monitored the escalation in hostilities on Wednesday and Thursday and documented the attacks as follows:
At 5:20pm on Wednesday, 8 August 2018, Israeli artillery shelled a security site in eastern Al Zaitoun neighbourhood in Gaza City;
At 9:20pm, Israeli warplanes began an intensive campaign of raids in various districts in the Gaza Strip;
At 11:25pm, Israeli warplanes fired one missile towards a Subaru-branded, white car driven by Ali Al-Ghandour, 34, and carrying another person. Al-Ghandour was killed and the other person was moderately injured. The car was targeted in southwestern Beit Lahia town in the North Gaza district;
At 1:30am on Thursday, 9 August 2018, Israeli warplanes attacked the house of Mohammed Abu Khamash, 28. The house is rented and covers a space of 160 square meters in Al-Jafarawi area of Wadi Al-Salqa in the east of the Middle Area district. Enas Abu Khamash, the 23-year old pregnant wife of Mohammed, and her daughter, Bayan Abu Khamash, 18 months, were killed in the attack and Mohammed was injured. The house was partially damaged. Around the same time, another missile was fired at Al-Taqwa Mosque to the east of Mohammed’s house, and it was partially damaged.
At around 2:30pm, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at a site called Al-Qadisyya, belonging to a Palestinian armed group in Al-Salateen neighbourhood in Beit Lahia town. Eight persons living near the site were injured, including five children and two women. The attack resulted in the destruction of a water well that is operated by the Beit Lahia municipality.
Al Mezan continues to collect, verify, and document information on the escalated attacks.
Al Mezan condemns the military’s targeting of civilians and civilian property, and the unnecessary harm and trauma caused to the population in Gaza. The shocking recent restrictions on the movement of goods and reduction in the permitted fishing zone indicate an increasingly harsh policy by the Israeli authorities vis-à-vis the population in Gaza that already endures a human-made, protracted humanitarian crisis. Al Mezan warns against any further escalation in hostilities, as it could lead to another full-scale military bombardment—the past of which have deviated drastically from international law principles and taken a devastating human toll on the population.
Al Mezan urges the international community, led by Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to take prompt and effective steps to seek a de-escalation in the situation in Gaza. The protection of civilians is a prime legal obligation and is, now, a test to the authenticity of the commitment of the international community to their legal obligations, moral standards and humanitarian objectives in Gaza.
Al Mezan stresses that impunity serves as encouragement for the commission of further international law violations, and calls for accountability and justice mechanisms to be activated as found to be relevant to the attacks in Gaza.