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Israeli strikes on Gaza kill at least 13 Palestinians, including four children, and injure 18: Al Mezan condemns Israel’s aggression and calls on the international community to intervene promptly

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9 May 2023 |Reference 32/2023

On Tuesday at dawn, 9 May 2023, Israeli forces extrajudicially killed three leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in an operation dubbed ‘Shield and Arrow’. Israeli attacks on Gaza killed at least 13 Palestinians in total, including four children and four women, and injured another 18, the majority of whom are women and children.


According to Al Mezan’s documentation, at approximately 2 a.m. on Tuesday, 9 May 2023, Israeli warplanes launched three missiles at the house of Islamic Jihad leader Jihad Abdulhafez (Ghannam), 61, in Al-Jneina neighborhood in Rafah City—one of the densest areas in the Gaza Strip. The attack killed the commander and his wife, Wafaa Abdulhafez (Ghannam), 61. Six other people were injured and admitted to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital, including Jihad’s son Hashim, 30, who suffered critical injuries.  


At approximately 2:10 a.m. on the same day, Israeli warplanes launched two missiles at the fifth floor of the Al-Dawli Building 1 in the Al-Rimal neighborhood of central Gaza City, targeting the apartment of Islamic Jihad leader Tariq Ezzedine, 51. The attack killed him, his daughter, Mayar, 12, and his son, Ali, 8. The attack also led to the killing of Dr. Jamal Khaswan, 52, Chairman of the Board of Al-Wafaa Hospital and a Russian national, his wife, Mervat Khaswan, 44, and his son, Youssef, 19, as a result of a ceiling collapse. The Khaswan family lived on the sixth floor of the building, above the targeted apartment. In addition, six more people were injured in the attack, including two women, with moderate and minor injuries. There was also property damage to some of the neighboring apartments.


Simultaneously, Israeli warplanes targeted, with two missiles, the two-story house of Al-Bahtini family, in Al-Toffah neighborhood east of Gaza City. The attack killed Islamic Jihad leader Khalil Al-Bahtini, 43, his wife Laila Al-Bahtini, 42, his daughter Hajar, 4, and Dania Alaa Adas, 19, who lived in a neighboring house very close to the targeted one. Six people were also injured in the attack, including three children and two women, with moderate and minor injuries. The attack also caused property damage in some of the neighboring houses.


At 10 a.m. the same day, medical sources at Al-Shifa Hospital announced the death of 17-year-old girl Iman Alaa Adas, who died from the wounds sustained in the Israeli attack on Al-Bahtini house.


Following these attacks, Israeli warplanes targeted military sites and open areas in Khan Younis, Rafah, and the Middle Gaza District.


Al Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s extrajudicial killings and complete disregard for Palestinian civilians’ lives. This latest round of attacks represents a major escalation of violence that threatens to extend the cycle of aggression on the Gaza Strip, as already foreshadowed by Israeli officials. Extrajudicial killings and attacks on civilians and civilian objects are blatant violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.


Once again, Al Mezan calls on the international community to intervene swiftly and effectively to end Israel’s attacks and protect Palestinian civilians and their property. The inaction and failure of the international community to fulfill its obligations to pursue and hold perpetrators of international crimes accountable and the impunity Israel continues to enjoy encourage Israeli officials to continue perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity at the expense of the Palestinian people.