Tuesday, July 15

Attacks Kill 194 killed, 95 inside of or in the Vicinity of Their Houses , Al Mezan Demands International Protection for Civilians in Gaza

IOF Attacks Kill 194 killed, 95 inside of or in the Vicinity of Their Houses
Al Mezan Demands International Protection for Civilians in Gaza

On the ninth day of the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) 'Operation Protective Edge' on the Gaza Strip, IOF continued targeting houses with their residents inside them or without giving them proper warning or time to evacuate. Dozens of civilians have been killed in such airstrikes on their houses; including from warning missiles, called 'rook-knocking' attacks that are supposed to serve as warning. IOF artillery intensified the shelling of the border areas, causing large fires to wheat fields.

As of 1pm today, Tuesday 15 July 2014, the number of Palestinian casualties resulted from IOF attacks, and verified by the Al Mezan has increased to 194; including 37 children and 28 women. According to Al Mezan's initial investigations 141 (i.e. 72.7%) of the victims are civilians. Many others were people known to be affiliated by Palestinian factions, but not taking part in any hostilities. Al Mezan's initial investigations reveals that at least 95 people were killed inside or in the vicinity of their houses. Of the casualties, 76 of those were killed in direct attacks on houses; all but 5 of them were uninvolved civilians. 27 of those were children and 21 women. Another 17 people were killed in the vicinity of their houses; 3 of whom were allegedly combatants.

Moreover, at least 1,218 other people were injured during the same period; of whom at least 330 were children and 270 women. At least, 1,489 houses were destroyed or damaged during this period; of which 265 were destroyed completely as the IOF directly and deliberately attacked 276 of the total number of damaged houses. IOF attacks also damaged or destroyed 25 schools, 37 mosques, an ambulance centre, 13 NGO offices, 38 fishing boats and 4 hospitals.

At approximately 6:45 pm on Monday, 14 July 2014, an IOF drone fired a missile at the house of Yousef Abu Issa, 58. The house is roofed by asbestos and was targeted when its residents were inside it an hour before the Ramadan breakfast (iftar) time. The attack caused severe damage to the house and caused injuries to all of its residents; ten people including a 5-day baby. The baby's mother sustained injuries to her chest. They were identified as:
-       Yousef Abu Issa, 58; injuries to the legs and eyes;
-       Feryal Abu Issa, 58 (his wife); injuries to abdomen and arms;
-       Hadeel Abu Issa, 31 (his daughter); critical injuries to the head, face, back and abdomen;
-       Hassan Abu Issa, 21 (his son); injuries to the limbs;
-       Jehad Abu Issa, 22 (his son); injuries to the head and arms;
-       Hayil Abu Issa, 29 (his son); injuries to different parts of the body;
-       Nada Abu Issa, 27 (a nursing mother); injuries to the chest; and
-       Nour Abu Issa, 5 days (Nada's baby); injuries to the limbs;

At approximately 7:30 pm on Monday, 14 July 2014, medical sources at Gaza European Hospital announced the death of Ziyad Al Shawi, 42, a worker at Coastal Municipalities Water Utility(CMWU). Al Shawi succumbed to injuries which he had sustained following a drone missile attack which targeted a car he was driving at approximately 11:05 pm o Saturday 12 July 2014. The car belonged to the CMWU and he was driving it on Abu Bakr Street, west of Rafah town, south of the Faza Strip.

At around 8:15 on Monday, 14 July,2014, Israeli drones bombarded the house of Ahmad Sheikh Al-Eid, located in the north Rafah. Residents who were inside the house at the time of shelling received no warnings prior to the attack. As a result three were killed; Omar Abdullah Sheikh Al-Eid, 27; his brother Jehad Ahmad Abdullah Sheikh Al-Eid, 36; and his daughter Sara Sheikh Al-Eid, 4. Their  brother Mahmoud Sheikh Al-Eid was also injured. The 100-square-meter house was inhabited by one family of 4, including 2 children.

At approximately 9:52 pm, on Monday, 14 July 2014, Israeli drones fired one missile at a house that belongs to Hamada Dheir, 32. Dheir was leaving the house, which is located in the north of Rafah town, when the attack took place. He was injured and transferred to the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. His injury was described by the medical sources as critical. Dheir was injured in several parts of his body and had one leg amputated. He was not affiliated with any political factions or their armed wings. 

At approximately 5:50 pm, on Tuesday Israeli drones bombarded a house that belongs to Mohammed Zurob; located in the Al Nasser village, north of Rafah town in the south of the Gaza Strip. No warning was given to the residents.  Zurob uncle's wife, Boshra Khalil Zurob, 53, who lives next door, came to the house to inquire about what had happened when drones fired a second missile at the house, killing her. Ahmad Zurob, 25, was also injured as a result of the attack. The 150-square-meter house was home to three families of 19 members, including 9 children.

At around 7:00 am, on Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, medical sources at the European Gaza Hospital announced the death of Sulaiman Salama Abu Luli due to injuries he had sustained as a result of a missile attack by Israeli drones at around 12:55 am on Wednesday, 9 July, 2014. The missile targeted a group of civilians in Al Shawka area, east of Rafah town. Another person, Abdel Hadi Al Soufi, 24, was killed as a result of the attack, and one other person, Hussein Kullab, sustained moderate injuries.

Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights reiterates its strong condemnation the IOF's serious violations of international law, particularly the frequent disproportionate attacks that fail to distinguish between civilian and military targets. All deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian object are serious violations of international law that amount to war crimes. The use of missiles as means of warning and not giving time for civilians to leave do not exempt the IOF of the responsibility for the high number of civilian casualties and damages to civilian structures; including police stations.

Al Mezan highlights that it has been civilians bearing the brunt of IOF's unlawful attacks. Therefore, Al Mezan calls on international community to act to stop such attacks without any further delay. International community must intervene to ensure that the attacks on houses, mosques, hospitals, police stations and NGO, are investigated and prosecuted as per the standards provided by international law. Al Mezan also urges international community; especially the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to act swiftly and resolutely to provide effective protection for the civilian population under Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip.

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