As ceasefire holds, more hurt to civilians and civilian objects is revealed, 162 Palestinians killed and 1,039 injured
Published: 12:00 Gaza Time (+2 GMT)
A ceasefire has entered into force and attacks on Gaza have stopped since yesterday, 21 November 2012, night. The monitoring of the impacts of the attacks launched by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during the eight past days indicates that violations of international law caused severe harm to civilians and civilian property around the Gaza Strip.Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights is preparing a report with description of IOF attacks, and lists of their victims.
The number of victims of IOF attacks on Gaza continued to rise. Al Mezan’s monitoring indicates that between 14 November 2012 and21 November 2012, at least 162 Palestinians have been killed in IOF attacks. Of those, 37 were children and 13were women. Another 1,039 people were injured, including 315 children and 191 women. At least 963 houses have also been damaged or destroyed, including 92 completely. Of those 92 houses, 52 were directly attacked; including 35 were direct roof-knocking attacks. Another 179 houses sustained serious damages. Moreover, IOF attacks caused varying damages to 10 health centres, 35 schools, 2 universities, 15 NGO offices, 30 mosques, 14 media offices, 92 industrial and commercial facilities, 1 UNRWA food distribution Centre, 8 ministry buildings, 14 police/security stations, 5 banks, 34 vehicles, 3 youth clubs, 3 cemeteries, and 2 bridges. These figures are the result of the initial monitoring efforts, and are expected to increase as more thorough documentation is concluded in the coming weeks.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights welcomes the ceasefire agreement, which has put an end to attacks that killed and injured civilians, and destroyed property and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. At the same time, Al Mezan strongly condemns the serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian during the past days. Al Mezan remains concerned by the failure of international community to make timely, effective interventions to protect civilians and condemn international law; including the failure of the Security Council to issue a statement. This failure illustrates that international community continues to apply political standards on human rights and international law issues; an attitude that could allow for violations of international law to recur in the future.
Al Mezan therefore calls on international community to take effective measures to:
· Ensure a swift full lifting of Israel’s illegal closure of the Gaza Strip;
· Secure a settlement to the conflict by ending Israel’s occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory based on international law;
· Pressure Israel to investigate the conduct of its army where there is compelling suspicion that serious violations of international law were committed. Investigations must comply with the relevant standards of international law;
· Take swift measures to implement the recommendations of the UN Fact-Finding Mission Report (2009); including using international accountability mechanisms if Israel does not comply with its obligation to investigate and prosecute violations committed by its army in Gaza;