Al Mezan Condemns Continuous Israeli Attacks on the Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip, Israel / OPT, Press Release

Israeli occupation forces continue attacks and mount an escalation against the Gaza Strip. Al Mezan views with concern the Israeli grave violations of international humanitarian law, particularly the Israeli attacks against civilians and civilian objects in flagrant violation of international law, particularly Article 147 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

According to the field information collected by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, in January 2014 alone, Israeli forces opened fire and mounted artillery attacks on Gaza 44 times and carried out 6 limited incursions into the Gaza Strip. The Israeli forces killed four people including a child and injured 37 people including seven children and three women. Throughout the course of the violence, the occupation forces also arrested three Palestinians, including one child.

The attacks on fishermen also continued unabated with Israeli forces opening fire on fishermen in 23 incidents. The occupation forces also arrested three fishermen, confiscated one boat and destroyed fishing nets and equipment in one instance.

On the last day of January 2014, the Israeli forces escalated its attack on Gaza by launching a series of attacks throughout the Gaza Strip. At approximately 2:30 am on Friday, 31 January 2014, Israeli aircraft fired at least two missiles at one of the Palestinian military training sites west of Jabaliya, in the north of Gaza. As a result, two women who live near the place of the attack, were injured.

At approximately 2:45 am on the same day, Israeli aircraft fired five missiles at Besan Recreation City northeast of Beit Lahiya, in northern Gaza. As a result, a three-story building was totally destroyed, two security guards sustained minor injuries, and several animals were killed. Adjacent houses and facilities were partially destroyed.

At approximately 3:00 am on the same day, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at an agricultural field belonging to Hussein Subeih Abu Subeih that is located in Msabeh neighborhood, north of Rafah. As a result of the attack, six people were killed, including two children and one woman. Additionally, one house was completely destroyed and another was damaged. One well and 13 greenhouses were also damaged.

At approximately 2:00 pm on the same day, Israeli forces opened fire at a number of Palestinian young men who were near the separation fence between Gaza and Israel east of the Islamic cemetery east of Jabaliya, in northern Gaza. As a result, seven people were injured.

Pursuant to these attacks, Al Mezan calls on the international community – particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention – to promptly intervene to end Israeli aggression and to uphold its legal and moral responsibility to protect civilians and ensure the respect of international law. Al Mezan asserts that the silence of the international community has encouraged the Israeli occupying forces to continue these violations.