Press Releases

The Israeli Forces Kill Nine Palestinians and Destroy More Civil Premises

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24 September 2002 |Reference 79/2002

The Israeli Occupation Forces invaded Gaza City on Monday 23 September 2002 at midnight.
Heavy arms were used in the incursion which resulted in the killing of nine Palestinians and the destruction of tens of homes and private properties.
The operation continued until 6:30 A.
At approximately 11:30 P.
on Monday, about 90 Israeli tanks, accompanied by bulldozers and air cover, instigated a wide incursion in the areas of ash-Shijayeh and az-Zaytun, south of Gaza City.
On their way to the two areas, tanks took narrow side-roads and thereby demolished numerous trees and the walls of several houses en route.
Helicopter gunships arbitrarily fired heavy machine gun rounds upon the areas.
Eyewitnesses told Al Mezan that tanks fired three shells on the family home of Muhammad Fathi Farahat (who was killed earlier in a military operation) and destroyed it.
One of the shells hit the house next door, owned by Nizar Hammad Farahat.
This house was severely damaged, as a result.
In addition, the Israeli forces destroyed a metal workshop owned by Hasan Ahmad Maqqat with explosives.
Three other workshops and three motor vehicles were damaged due to the explosion.
  The nine people killed in the incursion, mostly from heavy machine gun rounds fired from helicopters, were: Yasin Nayif Nassar, aged 50,    Muhammad Mahmud Kishku, aged 45, Khalid Atallah ad-Deib, aged 34, Adil Atallah ad-Deib, aged 32, Jabir Abdullah al-Harazin, aged 40, Ihab Hisham al-Mghani, aged 21, Walid Hisham al-Mghani, aged 14, Nidal Ismail al-Sarsak, aged 27, and Ashraf Saleem Izwayd, aged 25.
Besides the deaths and the damage to tens of private properties, almost fifty people were wounded.
According to the field investigations carried out by Al Mezan, the victims are all civilians.
The claims made by the IOF that only militants are targeted has proved false once again.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is gravely concerned by the escalation in the IOF’s killing of civilians through the use of excessive and lethal force in civilian areas.
Such procedures constitute grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the human rights norms.
Al Mezan condemns the Israeli acts and questions the silence of the international community in the face of such war crimes, which encourages the Israeli forces to continue perpetrating them.
As such, Al Mezan calls upon the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to intervene immediately to protect the civilian population of the OPTs and put an end to the Israeli occupation.
The international community is obliged to fulfill its legal and moral responsibilities and bring those who ordered and executed these crimes to justice.