Extensive Crimes against Humanity: IOF Redeploys inside Gaza. Entire Neighborhoods Destroyed

According to Al Mezan Center’s monitoring, the IOF has breached the unilaterally declared ceasefire. Shooting and shelling from artillery batteries, tanks and naval vessels have occurred in various areas throughout the day. Israeli aircrafts also launched raids on open areas. At 10:30am, Israeli troops opened fire at civilians who were trying to reach their homes in Khuza’a village, east to Khan Younis. A man, 22-year-old Mahir Abu Irjila, was killed as a result. The victim and his family had evacuated their house and stayed in a UN shelter.

With these casualties, the number of Palestinians killed by the IOF in the Gaza Strip since the start of Operation Cast Lead on 27 December 2009 has risen to 1,253; including at least 280 children and 95 women. Another 4,009 people were injured; including 860 children and 488 women.

Al Mezan Center has started a campaign to document with detail the implications of the IOF’s operations on life and property in the Gaza Strip. It has also started to investigate dozens of cases where the likelihood of the perpetration of war crimes is evident.

Al Mezan Center highlights the necessity of ensuring that the IOF would not return to its disproportionate, indiscriminate military actions in the Gaza Strip. The Center has witnessed the manner in which the IOF carried out its operations, with flagrant disregard to applicable international law and to civilian life. As the Center continues its monitoring and documentation efforts with regard to what has already happened in Gaza, it demands that the international community takes a solid stance concerning the behavior of the IOF: civilians must not be targeted and international law must be observed at all times; especially during armed conflict. Al Mezan remains alarmed by the current fragile conditions which have resulted from unilateral arrangements that might not end the hostilities.

Al Mezan expresses its outrage by the facts it has found in those areas which the IOF had invaded more than two weeks ago. The findings proved that the fears that civilians and civilians property in these areas had been treated in cruel ways. Dozens of corpses have been brought to hospitals with increasing allegations that civilians were killed or left to die as the IOF refrained from making any efforts to aid the wounded or survivors. Al Mezan condemns this practice, which represents a serious violation of international law and norms of armed conflict. view article

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