In a recent escalation of Israel's policy of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians, the Israeli air force repeatedly broke the sound barrier over Gaza, producing sonic booms and spreading panic throughout the Strip.
The air force also attacked a Fatah office in Beit Hanoun and the Al Ehsan Charity Association building in Rafah.
According to the Center's fieldworkers, in the early evening of October 24th, an Israeli jet fired a missile into a yard near the Al Nada towers in the Tel Al Hawooz area of Beit Hanoun.
No casualties were reported in the incident in the north of the Gaza Strip.
Air force planes also produced repeated sonic booms over the Strip – the booms are louder than the sound of actual shelling, and are produced when the sound barrier is broken.
Civilians throughout Gaza were terrified by the noises, and buildings throughout the areas affected suffered light damages, including cracks in home walls, as a result of the air force’s action.
That evening, Israeli military boats shelled the Al Sudania beach area, and fired numerous military flares over the small area of sea in which Palestinian fishermen may still fish.
The use of the flares prevented the fishermen from working.
Israeli military boats also fired at two Palestinian Navy and Civil Police locations.
No injuries were reported.
On October 25th, at around 1:00 am, an Apache helicopter gunship fired a Fatah building in Beit Hanoun.
The building was partially damaged as a result, though no casualties were reported.
Half an hour later, another Israeli helicopter gun-ship fired a missile at the Al Ehsan Charity Association building in the Al Shabora area of the Rafah refugee camp, in southern Gaza.
The attacks caused limited damage to the building and severe damage to an adjacent house.
Another nearby house was also damaged.
Five Palestinians were injured, including: Sameh Al Sayed Ahmad aged 25; Amna Joma’a, aged 65; Asmahan Joma’, aged 40; Aysal Jom’a, aged 28; At approximately 6:30am on the same day, an Israeli jet fired a missile that landed on land owned by the Al Shawa family, east of the Salah Ad Din road The Center condemns the recent Israeli escalation against Palestinian civilians, and emphasizes that the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, and collective punishment of the Palestinians constitute war crimes under the international humanitarian principles contained within the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
Al Mezan calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to immediately intervene to halt Israeli war crimes, and provide protection to the Palestinian people in the OPT.