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IOF crimes increasing and civilians continue to bear the brunt, 69 Palestinian killed and almost 600 injured in Gaza

Published: 20:00 Gaza Time (+2 GMT)

 The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) aggression was seriously escalated in Gaza today, 18 November 2012. As more civilian objects are deliberately targeted by the IOF, greater numbers of civilians; especially children and women, are killed. The IOF has increased the use of roof-knocking tactic. Today, a house was attacked by a bomb that destroyed it completely on its residents, killing 9 people from the same family and two neighbours.  Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights condemns the IOF serious violations of international law and calls for international intervention to stop the killing of civilians and children by the IOF immediately.

According to Al Mezans monitoring since the start of this round of aggression on 14 November 2012, by the time this press release was issued at 8 pm on 18 November 2012, 69 Palestinians have been killed in IOF attacks. Of them 15 were children and 9 women. Another 598 people were injured, including 182 children and 102 women. 561 houses have also been damaged or destroyed, including 44 that were destroyed completely and 69 damaged seriously. Al Mezan has verified that 16 of the houses were deliberately targeted by direct IOF attacks; 7 of which using the roof-knocking tactic. Dozens of other civilian objects were also destroyed or damaged. This includes 25 school buildings, one university building, 9 NGOs offices, 14 mosques, 8 media offices, 2 industrial plants, 25 commercial stores, 1 UNRWA food distribution centre, and two ministries buildings. Another 11 police/security offices and two sites for training of Palestinian armed factions were attacked by the IOF.

Using the roof-knocking tactic, an IOF drone fired a missile at the house of Jalal Nasser at 9:55 pm on 18 November 2012. The house is located in Jabalia refugee camp. The house owners child, Hussein, 6, was killed, and he and two of his family were injured from this attack.

At approximately 11:30 am on 18 November 2012, an IOF drone fired a missile at the house of Saleem Abu Al-Atta, 36, in the east of Gaza city. Five minutes later, three missiles were fired at the next door house; which is owned by RafiqHillis, 65, destroying it completely. The house of Abu Al-Atta family was seriously damaged in the attack. This 300 square-meter house, built on two floors, was inhabited by three families and hosted a womens NGO offices. Another two houses and an UNRWA school building serving two schools, the Ash-Shejaiya Mixed School (A) and (B), were also damaged in the attack.

At approximately 7:10 am on 18 November, IOF warplanes fired five missiles at the police station in At-Tuffah neighbourhood in Gaza city. The station and four adjacent houses inhabited by 40 people; including 20 children, were destroyed completely.One woman was killed in the attack. Her body was found under the rubble three hours after the attack. Another 10 people were injured; of them 6 were children. Partial damaged were caused to dozens of houses in the neighbourhood.

Al Mezan strongly condemns the IOF attacks which represent grave breaches of international law. Al Mezan warns that more IOF attacks violating human rights and international humanitarian law will occur in Gaza, given the past experience, the tactics that are being used by IOF, but also the silence of international community in the face of these breaches.

Al Mezan condemns with the strongest terms the deliberate targeting of houses and other civilians objects in Gaza. These violations, along with other disproportionate attacks and extra-judicial executions, may amount to acts of war crimes and must be investigated and punished without delay. Attacks on homes and the murder of whole families call for immediate international intervention to stop IOFs aggression and provide effective protection for civilians in Gaza.

Al Mezan highlights that the prevalent culture of impunity, which is the result of decades of failure to bring any perpetrators of war crimes to account, has encouraged such crimes to occur, and, as feared, it is children, women, and the elderly who are bearing the brunt of it.



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