ei: Civilians deliberately targeted: 194 of Gaza’s 830 killed are children

Press release, Al Mezan, 10 January 2009

A Palestinian child injured in Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza is treated by medics in a hospital on 10 January 2009. (Mohamed Al-Zanon/MaanImages)


2:30pm Gaza Time (+2hrs GMT)

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued its destruction of the Gaza Strip, systematically targeting civilians and civilian objects. Air raids and artillery attacks particularly targeted homes. Several families were killed under the rubble of their homes across the Gaza Strip.

The IOF also raided a tower used by journalists and broadcast technicians in Gaza City. IOF’s unilateral ceasefire, which lasts for three hours every day, is not being observed by the IOF as attacks were launched during it in several areas in the Gaza Strip.

Tens of thousands of civilians whose areas had been threatened with bombardment have left their homes seeking safety; however, little can be offered to them by the United Nations and other international humanitarian agencies, as a result of the tight closure and the IOF’s attacks on humanitarian workers.

The following sections provide accounts of the consequences of IOF’s attacks on the Gaza Strip’s five districts between 1pm on 8 January 2009 and 2:30pm today, 10 January 2009.

1. North Gaza District:

The IOF fired at several targets during the unilaterally declared ceasefire. At 2:35pm on Thursday 8 January 2009 Israeli troops opened machine gun fire at houses in the al-Bora neighborhood, east of Beit Hanoun, killing a civilian inside his house. He was identified as 42-year-old Jamal Ahmed Nashwan. Earlier, at 1:40pm on the same day, Israeli troops opened fire at a convoy encompassing two UN armored vehicles and an ambulance. The convoy was on its way to recover the body of a maintenance worker for UNRWA [the UN agency for Palestine refugees], whom the IOF had killed inside his house four days ago. The convoy, which had international staff in it, could not recover the victim, who was identified as Samir Rashid Mohammed.

At approximately 3:40pm on Thursday 8 January 2009 medical teams recovered the bodies of four civilians who had been killed in Israeli shelling of the al-Atatra neighborhood, southwestern Beit Lahia. Medical sources said that the victims had been killed many days ago and their bodies had started to decompose. Three of them, all children, were identified as:

  • One-and-a-half-year-old girl Shahd Abu Halemeh (her body was completely burnt);
  • 17-year-old Mohammed Hekmat Abu Halemeh; and
  • 17-year-old Matar Sadallah Abu Halemeh.

At approximately 3:45pm, during the ceasefire it had announced, IOF fired an artillery shell that landed near homes in eastern Jabaliya. No injuries or casualties were reported.

At approximately 5:15pm, also Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Yousef al-Qarra in Ezbet Abed-Rabu, eastern Jabaliya, and destroyed it completely. No casualties or injuries were reported.

At approximately 9:05pm Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Msallam Abu Selah, which is located in Jabaliya refugee camp, destroying it and three neighboring houses completely. Ten minutes later, IOF fired artillery shells towards homes in eastern Jabaliya.

At approximately 9:40pm Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Ahmad al-Batsh, located near Jabaliya’s eastern cemetery, destroying the three-story house completely, causing damage to three neighboring houses and injuring three people.

At approximately 10:10pm Thursday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Ziyad al-Masri, located to the west of Beit Lahia’s cemetery, destroying it. An Israeli drone had fired a warning missile at the house a few minutes earlier.
At approximately 10:30pm Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Salih al-Batsh in the middle of Jabaliya town, destroying the two-story house, damaging three other houses and injuring two people.

At approximately 11pm, also Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Abdul-Rahman Ahmad, which is located near Beit Lahia’s police station. The house was completely destroyed and two neighboring houses were damaged.

At approximately 6:20pm, also Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Ahmad Abu Hasannein in Block Two of Jabaliya refugee camp. The house was completely destroyed and burnt. This was the second time IOF bombarded this house.

Ten minutes after this attack, IOF fired artillery towards house in Tel al-Zatar neighborhood in Jabaliya. A shell hit the house of Dr. Ahmad al-Hawajri, causing severe damage to it.

At approximately 12:10am on Friday, 9 January 2009, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Ghazi Ilyan, east of Beit Lahia cemetery, destroying it and damaging three neighboring houses.

At approximately 3:30am on Friday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Fayiz Salha with a heavy missile. An IOF drone had fired a warning missile two minutes earlier. The inhabitants did not manage to leave the house before the major bombardment, therefore, six of its residents were killed, including four children and two women. They were identified as:

  • One-year-old girl Rola Fayiz Salha;
  • Four-and-a-half-year-old boy Baha Fayiz Salha;
  • 12-year-old girl Rana Fayiz Salha; and
  • 14-year-old boy Dyia Fayiz Salha;
  • 22-year-old Fatima al-Haw;
  • 33-year-old Randa Fayiz Salha.

Twenty-two-year-old Fatima had come to her sister’s house seeking safety after IOF bombardment of her neighborhood. The house was completely destroyed and four neighboring homes were damaged in this attack.

At approximately 8:30am Friday, Israeli aircrafts fired missiles onto an open field near houses in the Faluja neighborhood of Jabaliya. Two women were killed in this attack: Fatima Saeed Saad and Sumaya Saad. A girl child was also injured in the same house.

Half an hour later, IOF fired artillery shells that released white smoke onto the neighborhood of Tel al-Zatar in Jabaliya. Al Mezan’s field worker reported that the shells exploded in the air before they landed, and released thick white smoke. Many people suffered from difficulty breathing as a result. The Center has not been able to identify the ammunition used in this attack.

In Beit Hanoun, IOF tanks fired machine gun fire towards homes in the vicinity of the Agricultural School, injuring one woman.

At approximately 9:50am Friday, IOF fired artillery towards houses in the al-Nour Street in Jabaliya town, killing a 12-year-old girl. She was identified as Alaa Fathi Jaber. Eight other civilians were injured, including three children and two women.

At approximately 10am on Friday, Israeli aircraft raided two houses owned by the brother Ezadin and Nahidh Abu al-Hasaneh, both located in the Gaza-Jabaliya Street in Jabaliya town. As a result, a 15-year-old Mohammed Atif Abu al-Hasaneh was killed. The two houses were completely destroyed and several other houses were damaged.

At approximately 11am on Friday, IOF fired artillery shells at houses in the same street. A shell hit a house and killed Hisham Mahmoud Mansour inside his house.

Later, IOF fired six artillery shells that exploded close to the Beit Lahia Treatment Plant. Two shells hit the rubble embankment that keeps sewage water from homes in Beit Lahia. If these walls collapse, the entire town of Beit Lahia could be drowned by over 60 million cubic meters of sewage.

At approximately 12pm on Friday, an Israeli F-16 aircraft fired a heavy missile at a house owned by Mousa Rida Hamad, which is located near al-Ajami Mosque in Beit Hanoun town. The house was completely destroyed and three neighboring houses were damaged.

At approximately 12:20pm on Friday, an Israeli F-16 aircraft raided the house of Ammar al-Zaaneen in Beit Hanoun, destroying it completely and causing damage to two neighboring houses. No injuries or casualties were reported.

Ten minutes after this raid, an Israeli F-16 aircraft raided the house of Hussein al-Zaaneen, destroying it completely and causing damage to four neighboring houses. No injuries or casualties were reported.

At approximately 12:45pm on Friday, Israeli aircrafts raided the area near the Directorate of Education in Beit Lahia, killing a civilian, 60-year-old Mohammed Mubarak Salih, and injuring his wife, 59-year-old Halima Salih.

At approximately 1:40pm, also on Friday, Israeli aircrafts raided the Hawouz Hill in Northern Beit Hanoun, killing 17-year-old child Ahmad Abu Ikleek, who was near his house in nearby Ezbet Beit Hanoun neighborhood. Later, the body of Ibrahim Rayhan was received at Kamal Udwan Hospital in Beit Lahia. He died from wounds at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on that same day.

At approximately 1:09pm on Friday, Israeli troops fired artillery shells at houses in Ezbet Abed-Rabu, eastern Jabaliya. No injuries or casualties were reported in this attack, which occurred during the unilaterally declared ceasefire announced by the IOF.

At approximately 5:45pm on Friday, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the house Juma al-Najjar in Jabaliya town, destroying it and damaging several neighboring houses. Later, at 6:57, aircrafts raided the house of Mohammed Rayyan in Tel al-Zaatar neighborhood in Jabaliya, destroying it completely, and causing damage to three houses.

Later, also on Friday, Israeli troops fired artillery shells at houses in the east of Jabaliya. Fire started in four houses and 10 civilians were injured, most of whom were women and children. IOF opened fire at the fire brigade as it tried to reach the area, forcing it to return without fighting the fire.

At approximately 11:05pm on Friday, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the house of Abdul-Karim Abu Matar in Jabaliya refugee camp, destroying the house and causing damage to many other houses.

At approximately 5pm Friday, medical sources announced the death of 25-year-old Ahmad al-Makadma, who was injured in an IOF attack in Beit Lahia.

Later, at 11:30pm, IOF troops fired artillery shells at the al-Salatin neighborhood in Beit Lahia, killing 30-year-old Usama Juma. At approximately the same time, medical sources announced the death of a six-year-old girl, Baraah Iyad Shalha, and a 20-year-old man, Usama Badr. Both were injured on the previous day as the IOF bombarded the house of Abu al-Jidyan in Beit Lahia.
Later, Israeli aircraft raided two houses in Jabaliya and destroyed them completely. Many other houses were damaged. At 3:30am Saturday, 10 January 2009, Israeli aircraft raided the Beit Lahia market, causing damage to about 30 shops.

At approximately 4pm on Saturday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Zuhdi Abu Amsha, injuring 18 people. Later, at 7:40pm, aircraft raided the house of Ibrahim Abu Ihmidan in Tel al-Zaatar neighborhood in Jabaliya, killing three people, who were identified as:

  • 37-year-old Dawoud Asalyia;
  • 40-year-old Ibrahum Asalyia; and
  • 60-year-old Ibrahim Abu Ihmidan.

At 9am on Saturday, medical teams found the body of a 16-year-old child, Mohammed Jaber Iliyan, under the rubble of his house, which IOF had bombarded on Friday.

At 11:54am on Saturday, IOF troops fired artillery shells at houses on Abed-Rabu Street in eastern Jabaliya. Shells hit the house of Judeh Abed-Rabu, killing seven people from the same family. They were identified as:

  • 17-year-old Hamid Mahfouz Abed-Rabu;
  • 16-year-old Yusri Mahmoud Abed-Rabu;
  • 18-year-old Mohammed Ribhi Abed-Rabu;
  • 38-year-old Ramiz Jamal Abed-Rabu;
  • 25-year-old Sami Mohammed Abed-Rabu;
  • 47-year-old Sufyan Abdul-Hay Abed-Rabu; and
  • 45-year-old woman Randa Jamal Abed-Rabu.

Another person from the same family was also critically injured in this same attack. Later at noon on Saturday, medical sources announced the death of an 11-year-old girl, Ghanima Sultan Halawa, who was injured from IOF bombardment earlier in Jabaliya-Gaza Street in Jabaliya town.

At 12:10pm on Saturday, IOF troops fired artillery shells at houses in eastern Beit Lahia. A shell hit the house of Mohammed Baba and killed a 30-year-old woman, Anaam Abed Baba. Three other inhabitants were also injured.

At approximately 4pm Saturday, Israeli snipers opened fire at a 15-year-old boy, Wisam Ibrahim Nabhan, killing him in the al-Isra neighborhood east of Beit Lahia.

2. Gaza City District:

At approximately 4pm, on Thursday 8 January 2009, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Majid Adnan Dadar, which is located in al-Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City, destroying it and injuring six women and children.

At approximately 6pm on Thursday, Israeli aircrafts raided the apartment of former ambassador Jaber Abu al-Naja, which is located on the seventh floor of an apartment compound in Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City. As a result, a journalist, 34-year-old Ihab al-Whidi, who works for the Palestine TV, and the ambassador’s wife, 54-year-old Roqayya Abu al-Naja were killed. Three civilians were also injured, including Abu al-Naja’s daughter, who is also al-Whidi’s wife.

At approximately 12:15am on Friday 9 January 2009, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of the deputy of the Police Director, Jamal Abdullah, in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City. The house was completely destroyed. Nevertheless, aircraft raided the house again 30 minutes later.

In the evening hours of Friday, Israeli aircrafts raided two houses and the Arafat Police Academy in Gaza City. The two houses were completely destroyed. Twenty-two-year-old Shaaban Mushtaha was killed in the attack on the Police Academy.

At approximately 7pm Friday, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at the al-Jawhara Tower in Gaza City. Fifteen journalists were on the tower’s roof, reporting on the situation in Gaza. One journalist, 26-year-old Manar Shalola, was injured from shrapnel to his head.

At approximately 8:30pm Friday, Israeli aircrafts raided the apartment of Mohammed Abu al-Soud, which is located in al-Susi tower in Gaza City. The owner was lightly injured and the apartment severely damaged.

At approximately the same time, IOF troops fired artillery shells at houses in the al-Zeitoun neighborhood. A shell hit the house of a journalist, 26-year-old Ala Murtaja, killing him and causing critical injuries to his wife.

3. Central Gaza District:

In the early morning hours on Thursday, 8 January 2009, Israeli naval vessels fired missiles at the village of al-Zawayda, killing 7 and injuring 23, including four children and five women. Those who were killed were:

  • 60-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim al-Quran;
  • 25-year-old Dawoud Mohammed al-Quran;
  • 26-year-old Ryiad Mohammed al-Quran;
  • 21-year-old Mohammed Hussein al-Quran;
  • 27-year-old Iyad Saber Nassar; and
  • 22-year-old Basil Ibrahim Nassar.

At approximately 7am on Friday 9 January 2009, Israeli aircraft fired three missiles that hit the vicinity of the Abu Qwidir family, killing a civilian, 23-year-old Ibrahim Rashid Abu Qwidir, and injuring six civilians, two of whom were children and one was a woman.

Earlier, at approximately 8am on Thursday 8 January 2009, Israeli aircraft fired missiles that exploded in the al-Jadid camp in an-Nuseirat refugee camp. Missiles landed into a crowd, killing 20-year-old Omar Nassar and injuring four other people.

Later, at 2:30pm, also Thursday, the corpse of a 10-year-old child Amer Balousha, from al-Zahra town, south of Gaza City, was found. He was injured by a live bullet to his head. Later that night, medical sources announced the death of eight-year-old Aref Baraka, who was wounded on 4 January 2009. It was also announced that 22-year-old Fawzi Abu al-Arraj, who is from the Wadi al-Salqa village, died from wounds he had sustained. Moreover, an IOF artillery attack killed 20-year-old Omar Abu Mghisib.

4. Khan Younis District:

At approximately 2:30pm on Thursday 8 January 2009, IOF fired artillery from batteries positioned in Israel east of Abassan town, east of Khan Younis. At the same time, IOF drones fired missiles at the town. As a result, two children were killed as they were in their family’s field, close to the al-Farahin Club. The children were identified as:

  • 14-year-old Mohammed Akram Abu Dakka; and
  • 12-year-old Ibrahim Akram Abu Dakka.

Fifty-year-old Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Teer was also injured in the attack. He died later, at 10pm, at a hospital.

At 4:40pm that same day, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at open fields in Abassan town. No casualties or injuries were reported.

At 4:50pm also Thursday, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the house of Noor Barakeh, a member of Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades in the town of Bani Suhaila, east to Khan Younis. At first, a small missile was fired. Then, a few minutes later, it was followed by a heavy missile from an F-16 aircraft, which destroyed the house completely and injured 54 civilians living in the neighboring houses.

At approximately 7:45pm, also on Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided a house owned by al-Astal family in the city of Khan Younis. The house was destroyed and an unidentified people were killed under its rubble. The Civil Defense was able to take the bodies of two men:

  • 27-year-old Ahmad Mohammed al-Astal; and
  • 28-year-old Salman Fahmi al-Astal.

At approximately 8:35pm on Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Arafat Madi, who is a member of the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades in Khan Younis, destroying the house and causing damage to many other houses near it.

At approximately 9pm on Thursday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Zaki al-Dirdisi, who is also a member of the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades in Bani Suhaila town, destroying the house.

At approximately 9:15pm on Thursday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Ismail al-Astal, who is a member of the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades in Khan Younis, destroying the house and causing damage to many other houses near it.

At approximately 2am on Friday, 9 January 2009, Israeli aircrafts raided an Islamic Jihad office in the town of Abassan, destroying it and causing damage to many other houses near it.

At approximately 8am on Friday, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at an open field in Khzaa town causing damage top several houses.

At approximately 8:30am on Saturday, 10 January 2009, Israeli aircrafts fired missiles at the western wall of the Gaza European Hospital in the south of Khan Younis. The raid destroyed part of the wall and damaged the water network at the hospital.

Later, the body of 22-year-old Jamal al-Smiri was received at the hospital. He was killed in an Israeli air raid in al-Qarara town, northeast of Khan Younis, at the dawn hours on Saturday.

5. Rafah District:

At approximately 3pm on Thursday 8 January 2009, Israeli aircrafts targeted four staff members of the maintenance and water department in the municipality of al-Nasir village while they were trying to fix water pipelines in the village, north of Rafah town. As a result, the four and a police officer were injured. The policeman was reported to have sustained serious injuries, according to the Gaza European Hospital.

Furthermore, between 5pm and 10:20pm on the same day, Israeli air raids continued to target the southern borderline as well as the western parts of al-Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah.

At approximately 9:05pm on the same day, Israeli aircrafts bombarded the house of Ziyad al-Kadash, which is located on al-Quds Street in Tel al-Sultan neighborhood, west of Rafah town. The attack destroyed the house completely and caused partial damages to some neighboring houses.

At approximately 2:53am on Friday, 9 January 2009, IOF aircraft fired a missile that landed on an area to the north of Rafah Crossing.

At approximately 1:48am, aircraft raided the Security and Protection building, which is located close to the Rafah Municipality’s Library, in central Rafah town. The raid destroyed the building completely, but no injuries were reported. At approximately 11pm on the same day, aircraft resumed attacks on the western parts of al-Shaboura camp, targeting three open areas. Earlier, at approximately 7:55pm that same day, the IOF shelled al-Madakha Street in al-Jneina neighborhood in Rafah town.

At approximately, 4:45pm on the same day, Israeli aircrafts raided the five-story house of Said al-Shair, which was inhabited by five families. The attack destroyed the house totally, but no injuries were reported.

At approximately 1:20am, on Saturday 10 January 2009, Israeli aircraft fired a missile that landed on an area to the north Rafah Crossing.

At approximately 12:12am, on the same day, IOF aircrafts shelled the house Said Abu Jlidan, in al-Salam neighborhood in Rafah town, close to the borderline with Egypt.

At approximately 8:20am on the same day, IOF aircrafts bombarded the house of Abdul-Rahim Ferwana, close to Ibn Taymia Mosque in al-Salam neighborhood. The house was completely destroyed as a result.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the actions of the IOF in Gaza, many of which represent war crimes and crimes against humanity by intentionally targeting civilians by killing and starvation. The Center strongly condemns IOF’s escalation of its use of excessive force, which the IOF has been allowed to employ against the Gaza Strip since 27 December 2008, under the international community’s continuous failure to take urgent action. The Center is particularly outraged by the inability of the UN Security Council to take effective action to halt the killing of hundreds of civilians and for a severe humanitarian crisis in defiance of the rules of international law and the UN Charter.

Al Mezan Center calls the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War of 1949, to live up to their legal and moral responsibilities by investigating and brining to an end Israel’s grave breaches of international humanitarian law. States Parties to the Convention are called on to urgently convene their conference, and to uphold their obligations under an obligation, under Common Article 1, by ensuring respect of the Convection.

This press release has been edited.

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ei: Civilians deliberately targeted: 194 of Gaza’s 830 killed are children.

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