Reports and Studies

Field Report on Israel’s Attacks on Gaza: Violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the Israeli occupation forces in the reporting period, 14 November 2012 –21 November 2012

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21 December 2012

In this detailed field report Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights (Al Mezan) reports on military attacks carried out in the Gaza Strip in the period 14 November 2012 – 21 November 2012.
The attacks listed were researched and verified by Al Mezan’s team of fieldworkers who are based in each of Gaza’s five districts.
The attacks are listed in chronological order.
  Hostilities commenced with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) shot dead a 13-year-old boy as he was playing football in the town of Khuza’a in Khan Younis district on 8 November 2012, during an incursion into Gaza that lasted for two days.
In another IOF attack, at approximately 5 pm on Saturday 10 November 2012, the IOF fired artillery shells at a water reservoir, also in the town of Khuza’a eastern Khan Younis.
The reservoir was about 800 meters from the separation fence between Gaza Strip and Israel.
The shelling injured 11 Palestinian civilians, including four women and two children.
  On 10 November 2012, Palestinian fighters fired an anti-tank rocket at an Israeli military jeep, reportedly injuring four Israeli soldiers.
The IOF responded immediately by firing artillery shells on a crowd of Palestinian civilians in a wake tent in the east of Gaza City.
When the people in the area, including several children who were playing football in a nearby field, went to help the wounded, the IOF fired an artillery shell into the crowd, killing and injuring dozens.
Hostilities escalated since then and the IOF and by 11 November, the IOF had killed Seven Palestinians; three Children; and Injured 54, including 12 Children.
On 12 November 2012, a truce was informally announced, but not confirmed.
  At approximately 15:50 on 14 November 2012, an Israeli airstrike targeted a car in which Ahmed Al-Jaa’bari, 52, leader of Hamas’ military wing was travelling, killing him and his companion, Mohammed Al-Hams.
The IOF launched dozens of air and artillery attacks on Gaza during the hours following this attack, killing another five people including: one infant, 11 months; a girl, 3; and a woman, 19.
  When a ceasefire was negotiated and agreed on, on 21 November 2012, the Israeli attacks on Gaza have had already devastated it.
Al Mezan’s monitoring indicates that between 14 November 2012 and 21 November 2012, at least 162 Palestinians have been killed in IOF attacks.
Of those, 37 were children and 13 were 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.
  Al Mezan stresses that its initial findings, detailed below, provide compelling evidence that IOF attacks on the Gaza Strip included attacks on civilian targets and other attacks which failed to observe the relevant principles of international law.
It is also important to note that the IOF’s attacks were carried out in the context of Israel’s closure and naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, which have now been in place for more than five years.
The closure and blockade have seriously undermined the provision of essential services in Gaza, especially in the health, water and sanitation sectors.
As the new destruction to homes occurred, tens of thousands of Gazans remain displaced as a result of the destruction of property by the IOF and Israel’s ban on the bringing of construction materials into the Gaza Strip.
  This report details the IOF attacks on the Gaza Strip by district between the period 14 and 21 November 2012.
The report aims to provide the media, diplomatic missions and humanitarian organizations with information that will enable interventions aimed at preventing further human rights violations or assisting the affected populations in the Gaza Strip.