[Scene of the attack on Cordoba Building: Al Mezan]
On Sunday, 20 July 2014, Israeli aircraft bombarded an apartment building in Gaza City's central Rimal neighborhood.
The target appears to have been an apartment owned by the Al Hallaq family, who were hosting their relatives who had escaped from the Shejai'ya neighborhood.
In the building also lived the Ammar family, who were hosting friends from the Jum'aa family.
The hosted families had made it out of the Shejai'ya neighbourhood, where indiscriminate fire by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed at least 59 people, only one of whom was a combatant, on 20 July 2014.
According to Al Mezan's investigation, at approximately 7:20 pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, Israeli aircraft fired three missiles at the apartment of Hani Mohammed Al Hallaq, 29.
The apartment is located on the second floor in the Cordoba Building in the Al Rimal neighborhood in the west of Gaza City.
Two missiles hit the apartment while the third fell at the entrance of the building.
As a result, eleven people were killed.
Al Mezan has identified them as follows: Hani Mohammed Al Hallaq, 29; (the owner of the attacked apartment); Hala Akram Al Hallaq, 29; (Hani's wife) Mohammed Hani Al Hallaq, 2; (Hala's son) Su'ad Mohammed Al Hallq, 62; (Hala's mother) Samar Usama Al Hallaq, 29; (nine months pregnant, visitor) Sajji Hassan Al Hallaq, 4; (visitor) Kenan Hassan Al Hallaq, 6; (visitor) Ibrahim Khalil Ammar, 13; Eman Khalil Ammar, 9; Issam Khalil Ammar, 4; and Rahaf Akram Jumaa', 4.
(visitor) Members of the Jumaa’s family were staying in an apartment on the first floor of the building in the Ammar family home.
Three other people were moderately injured in the attack.
Al Mezan’s investigation concluded that none of the victims or the persons present in the targeted apartment were combatants.
Yet, even if any of them did fall under the category of combatant, a direct attack on an apartment building is still a serious violation of international law as it fails to respect the principles of distinction and proportionality.
No warning was given to people prior to the attack, which suggests the intention to incur casualties.
This is but one of hundreds of direct attacks on houses by the IOF over the past 16 days.
Al Mezan's investigations indicate that, as of 1pm on Monday, 21 July 2014, 506 Palestinians were killed in IOF attacks, including132 children and 64 women.
Of the victims, 397 (i.
8%) are civilian casualties.
At least 249 (49.
2%) were killed inside their houses and two women with disability were killed in an attack on a rehabilitation center.
Al Mezan stresses that attacks on civilians or civilian objects are prosecutable under international law.
Such attacks must be condemned by the international community, investigated and prosecuted.