The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued its attacks on the Gaza Strip. Attacks on homes and other civilian targets continued to claim more civilian lives.
As the situation in the Shejai'ya neighborhood became clearer, investigations indicate that the IOF bombarded the neighborhood heavily around dawn on 20 July 2014, firing at houses and fleeing civilians. al Mezan verified that 56 dead bodies for people from this neighborhood were received at hospitals; all civilians except on combatant. Seventeen of the victims were children, two medics, and one journalist. Forty people were killed while inside their houses and the rest on the streets as they tried to fled the bombing. many people are still under the rubble of houses that were bombarded by the IOF. Direct attacks on houses when their residents were in them killed dozens of civilians; including families who lost ten, five and six persons; including the Iskafi family who lost six when IOF attacked their house after the humanitarian ceasefire entered into force. The attack on the Abu Jame' family claimed 26 lives; including 19 children and five women. Anotehr attack on an apartment in Gaza City killed eleven people; including seven children and three women. A third attack on the Ziyada family house killed seven.
As IOF's ground invasion expanded tens of thousands more people have fled the areas under attack and are lacking basic needs. The situation for the general civilian population has grown even more difficult, with blackouts lasting 20 hours at best and problems with access to water and healthcare.
According to the field investigations by Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, as of 1pm today, on Monday 21 July 2014, at least 505 Palestinians have been verified as killed by the IOF; including 130 children and 64 women. According to Al Mezan's initial investigations 397 (i.e. 78.6.8%) of the victims are civilians. Many others were people known to be affiliated by Palestinian factions, but not taking part in any hostilities. At least 248 (49.1%) were killed inside their houses; and two other disabled women were killed in an attack on a rehabilitation NGO's office. Another 76 civilians were killed while trying flee their houses.
Moreover, at least 2,665 other people were injured during the same period; of whom at least 754 were children and 564 women. At least, 2,945 houses were destroyed or damaged during this period; of which 464 were destroyed completely as the IOF directly and deliberately attacked 462 of the total number of damaged houses. The numbers of casualties and houses are not final, but only those verified by Al Mezan thus far. They are expected to rise as the verification of more cases is on-going. IOF attacks also damaged or destroyed 45 schools, 54 mosques, an ambulance centre, 16 NGO offices, 39 fishing boats and 4 hospitals.
In the early morning hours on Sunday 20 July 2014, Israeli tanks opened heavily artillery fire at the east of the Al Sheja'iya and At-Tuffah neighborhoods, east of Gaza City. The shelling continued until midday, when Israel and Palestinian resistence groups agreed a humanitarian ceasefire for two hours, which was extended for another two hours to recover the people who were killed or injured from the streets, or from under the rubble of houses in the Al Sheja'iya neighborhood. Al Mezan's verified that 56 dead bodies arrived at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City; of whom 17 were children, seven women, two paramedics, and one journalist. Forty out of the 56 were killed inside their homes. Twelve people were killed while they were trying to flee their homes, as IOF tanks attacked them while they were on the streets. There are reports that an unknown number of civilians were still under the rubble of houses when this press release was published. In several cases, whole family members were killed in certain attacks, including the 'Ayyad family, where ten family members were killed, nine of whom were killed while they were fleeing in the Al Mansoura Street. Five members of the Al Hayya family were also killed and six from the Al Iskafi family were killed, too. There are reports which Al Mezan could not verify because of the on-going ground invasion, that another two of the Iskafi family who were killed but still uncovered from under the rubble of their house. The IOF had attacked their the homes of these families directly after the announcement of the ceasefire. Moreover, six members of the Al Sheikh Khalil family were killed while they were inside their home.
At around 8:00 am on Saturday, 19 July 2014, IOF, which invaded the Al Zira'a area, northern Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip opened heavy machine guns fire and injured Manwa Abdel Baset Al Bee', 30. She died around 1:30 am on Monday morning, 21 July 2014 from the bullet wounds she had sustained to the chest. According to Al Mezan's investigation, the woman was on her way home, which she and her family had evacuated, to bring some basic needs when the attack took place.
At approximately 11:25 pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, Israeli fighter jets fired at least one missile at a motorcycle driven by a young man near the Kamal Odwan Hospital in Beit Lahya town, in North Gaza district. One child was killed and the motorcyclist and three children and one woman were injured. One of the injured children, Dina Omar Azeez, 5, succumbed to her injuries at around 6:30 Sunday evening and died at hospital.
At approximately 12pm on Sunday 20 July 2014, an IOF warplane fired a missile at the house of Salah Al Sha'ir, 55, which is located south of Khan Younis City in the south of the Gaza Strip. The house had not received any warning from the IOF prior to the attack. As a result, four people were killed and nine were injured. Those who were killed are:
Salah Al Sha'ir, 55;
Laila Al Sha'ir, 30; (Salah's daughter-in-law)
Mohammed Al Sha'ir, 5; (Laila's son)
Heba Al Sha'ir, 15; (Salah's niece).
At approximately 1:00 pm on Sunday 20 July 2014m Israeli drones fired two missiles at the house of Abdel Jabbar Daraji (Al Mughrabi), which is located east of the An-Najjar Hospital, east of Rafah town in the south of the Gaza Strip. As a result, Najjah Sa'ad Ad-Din Daraji, 49, and her grandson Abdullah, 2, were killed. Another eleven people were injured in the attack. Al Mezan has identified their names as follows: · Abdel Jabbar Draji, 54;
· Odai Abdel Jabbar Draji, 11; (his son)
· Zahraa Abdel Jabbar Draji, 17; (his sister)
· Maryam Abdel Jabbar Draji, 20; (his sister)
· Ghaidaa Abdel Jabbar Draji, 21; (his sister)
· Yousif Abdel Jabbar Draji, 25, (her brother)
· Kefah Draji, (Yousif's wife)
· Nour Yousif Draji, 4; (Yousif's daughter)
· Khalil Abdel Jabbar Draji, 24; (Yousif's brother)
· Intisar Draji, (Khalil's wife) and
· Yousif Khail Draji, 1, Khalil's son.
They were admitted to An-Najjar Hospital. Youisf sustained critical injuries and he was referred to the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. The house was totally destroyed and burnt out due to the bombing.
At approximately 1 pm on Sunday 20 July 2014, an IOF warplane fired a missile into a group of people in the Abassan Al Jadeeda town, east to Khan Younis district, killing a man and a minor and injuring three others. Those who were killed are:
Sulaiman Abu Jame', 14; and
Mohammed Al Daghma, 25.
Later, at 4:30pm, IOF artillery hit the area and the Zanna neighborhood in Bani Suheila with tens of shells, with warplane also firing three missile, killing four and injuring another four.
At approximately 1:50 pm on Sunday 20 July 2014, IOF fired artillery shells at the town of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. Some of the shells hit the house of Mahmoud Al Za'aneen and injured nine of its residents moderately.
At approximately 2:00pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at the house of Jameel Shaban Ziyada, 53. The 300-square-meter house of three stories is located in the Al Bureij refygee camp and was completely destroyed. Six people were killed in this attack: Jameel Shaban Ziyada, 53, Yossef Shaban Ziyada, 43, Omar `ban Ziyada, 32, Moftiya Mohmmed Zeyada, 70, Bayan Ziyada, 39, Shaban Jameel Ziyada, 12 and Mahmoud Al Maqadma, 30. Five of the victinms were three sons and their parents, and the sixth was a visitor. The house was attacked without prior warning.
At approximately 2:30 pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, ambulances were able to collect the body of Turkiyya Al Bess, 77, after they received coordination by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The old woman was killed from shrapnel wounds to her head from Israeli artillery fire they dropped on Beit Hanoun town prior to the ground invasion, on Friday morning, 18 July 2014. Al Abess lived alone in the house her house and was unable to leave when the bombardment started. At approximately 3:00 pm on Sunday 21 July 2014, IOF fired several missiles targeting the civilian houses near the Eastern Cemetery in As-Salam neighborhood, east of Rafah. As a result, Mohammed Rajaa Handam, 15, was killed and his father Rajaa, 43, was injured while they were at the door of their home. They were admitted Abu Yousif An-Najjar Hospital. Mohammed was pronounced dead after one hour and his father was referred to the Gaza European Hospital due to his critical injury.
At approximately 4 pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, an Israeli drone fired a missile at house that belongs to Abdel Aziz Abdel Al Kurdi, 52, which is located in the Al Bureij refugee camp. The missile hit an apartment on the third floor and killed Ismael Abdel Aziz Kurdi, 21.
At approximately 5:00 on Sunday, 20 July 2014, Israeli fighter jets fired at least one missile at a two persons who were inside their house's yard in Beit Lahiya town, in the north of the Gaza Strip. The attack killed them both. They were identified as: Abed Rabbo Ahmad Zayed, 58, and his wife Aysha Ali Zayed, 54. The attack took place when the couple were watering their garden. At approximately 2:25 am on Monday, 21 July 2014, Israeli artillery, positioned beyond the separation fence in northern Gaza Strip, fired several shells at the house of Hani Fayyad, located in Beit Hanoun town. Five residents were moderately injured according to the medical sources at Beit Hanoun Hospital.
At approximately 6:00 pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, Israeli fighter jets fired at least one missile at the house of Bahjat Abu Sultan in Beit Lahiya town. His daughter, Aya, 17, was killed and his wife, Nasra Abu Sultan, 73, and sons Bara, 19; Alaa, 15; and Diaa', 12, were injured. Their injuries were described as moderate according to medical sources at Kamal Odwan Hospital. The house was also severely damaged.
At approximately 7:20 pm on Sunday 20 July 2014, Israeli aircrafts fired three missiles targeting the apartment of Hani Mohammed Al Hallaq, 29, which is located on the second floor in the Cordoba Building in the Al Remal neighborhood west of Gaza City. Two missiles hit the apartment while the third fell at the entrance of the building. A family, also from the Al Hallaq extended family who had evacuated their home in the Al Sheja'iya neighborhood and sought refuge with their relatives, was present in the apartment. As a result, eleven people from the were killed. Al Mezan identified their names as follows:
· Hani Mohammed Al Hallaq, 19; (the owner of the house);
· Hala Akram Al Hallaq, 29; (Hani's wife)
· Mohammed Hani Al Hallaq, 2; (Hala's son)
· Su'ad Mohammed Al Hallq, 62; (Hala's mother)
· Samar Usama Al Hallaq, 29; (nine months pregnant)
· Sajji Hassan Al Hallaq, 4;
· Kenan Hassan Al Hallaq, 6;
· Ibrahim Khalil Ammar, 13;
· Eman Khalil Ammar, 9;
· Issam Khalil Ammar, 4; and
· Rahaf Akram Jumaa', 4.
The three members of the Ammar family lived in the first floor of the building. The members of Jumaa' family had also fled the Al Shejaiya neighborhood and sought refuge with their friends, the Ammar family. Three other people were injured in the attack and medical sources at Shifa Hospital described their injury as moderate.
At approximately 7:50 pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at the house of Saleh Kafeena in the Al Nusseirat refugee camp in the Middle Gaza district, destroying the four-story house injuring two of the residents were injured. Several neighboring houses were also partially damaged.
At approximately 7:50 pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, Israeli warplanes bombarded the house of Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jame'. The three-story-house is inhabited by five families and is located in the Bani Suhaila town, east of Khan Younis district in the south of the Gaza Strip. The house, which was attacked without prior warning, was completely destroyed in the attack. Civil defense and ambulances crews rushed to the destroyed house to uncover the bodies buried under the rubble. It took them until the next day, Monday 21 July 2014, to uncover the victims. Medics found 26 bodies, 18 children and five women. Only three residents survived, and they sustained with varying injuries. Those who were killed are:
- Fatma Ahmad Abu Jame', 60;
- Sabah Tawfeeq Abu Jame', 35; (Fatma's daughter)
- Razan Tawfeeq Abu Jame', 14; (Fatma's daughter)
- Jawdat Tawfeeq Abu Jame', 13; (Fatma's son)
- Aya Tawfeeq Abu Jame', 12; (Fatma's daughter)
- Haifa Tawfeeq Abu Jame', 9; (Fatma's daughter)
- Tawfeeq Tawfeeq Abu Jame', 4; (Fatma's son)
- Maysa Tawfeeq Abu Jame', 7; (Fatma's daughter)
- Ahmad Tawfeeq Abu Jame', 8; (Fatma's son):
Shahinaz Waleed Abu Jame', 29,
Ayyoub Tayseer Abu Jame', 10; (Shahinaz's son)
Fatima Tayseer Abu Jame', 12; (Shahinaz's daughter)
Rayan Tayseer Abu Jame', 5; (Shahinaz's son)
Rinat Tayseer Abu Jame', 2; (Shahinaz's daughter),
Nojoud Tayseer Abu Jame', 4 months; (Shahinaz's daughter)
Yasmin Abu Jame', 25, who was pregnant,
Batoul Bassam Abu Jame', 4; (Yasmin's daughter)
Suheila Bassam Abu Jame', 3; (Yasmin's daughter)
Bisan Bassam Abu Jame', 6 months; ; (Yasmin's daughter),
Yasser Abu Jame', 27,
Fatima Abu Jame, 26, (Yasser's pregnant wife);
Sajed Yasser Abu Jame', 7; (Yasser and Yasmin's son)
Siraj Yasser Abu Jame', 4; (Yasser and Yasmin's son),
Nour Yasser Abu Jame', 2; (Yasser and Yasmin's son)
Hosam Abu Geinas, 7, who is the house owner's nephew
Ahmad Suleiman Sahmoud, 34, a visitor.
At approximately 10:00 pm on Sunday 20 July 2014, Israeli aircrafts fired two missiles at an evacuated house near the house of Fatma Abdel Raheem Abu Amouna, 55, in the Tal Al Hawa neighborhood, west of Gaza City. As a result, Fatma was killed and her two-story house was totally damaged.
At around 11:30 pm on Sunday, 20 July 2014, medical sources at an Egyptian hospital announced the death of Rajaa' Hammad Al Daghma, 38, who succumbed to his injures. He was injured on 18 July 2014 in an Israeli attack of Abasan Al Jadeeda, town where he lived.
At approximately 2:00 am on Monday, 21 July 2014, Israeli warplanes targeted two young men near the Al Moghraqa area and killed them; Belal Jaber Al Ashhab, 22, and Abdel Rahman Al Toom, 22.
At approximately 5:20 am on Monday, 21 July 2014, Israeli warplanes fired at least one missile at the house of Hussein Abu Habel, who lives on the third floor of a four-story building in the Tel Az-Zaatar neighbourhood in Jabalia, northern the Gaza Strip. Two of his sons, Eid, 20, and Fathi, 10, and his grandson, Hussein, 4, were injured moderately. At around 6:00 am on Monday, 21 July 2014, Israeli fighter jets fired at least one missile at the house of Talal Hassan Al Masri. The house is located in Beit Hanoun area, north Gaza. His son Kamal, 32 was killed and the house was severely damaged as a result of the attack.
At approximately 6:30 am on Monday 21 July 2014, Israeli drones fired five missiles at the house of the Siyam family, which is located in the north of Rafah town. Israeli aircrafts had fired several missiles at a park and two houses in the area. When the Siyam family members heard the explosion of the missiles, they evacuated their house. A neighboring family also evacuated; the Abu Sneimeh extended family. The six families (about 34 members) left their homes. As soon as they left, Israeli drones attacked them. As a result, 10 people were killed, including six children. Al Mezan has identified their names as follows: · Kamal Mahrous Siyam, 27;
· Mohammed Mahrous Siyam, 27;
· His wife Smoud Siyam, 26;
· Shirin Mohammed Siyam, (Mohammed's sister-in-law)
· Her sons and daughters Ghaidaa Nabil Siyam, 7;
· Mustafa Nabil Siyam, 9;
· Bader Nabil Siyam, 4;
· Dalal Nabil Siyam, 9 months;
· Her cousin Ahmed Siyam, 15; and
· His brother Ameen Siyam, 15.
Another eight people including seven children were injured in the attack.
At around 6:55 am, on Monday, 21 July 2014, Israeli drones fired one missile at the house of Hussein Ibrahim Al Haj. The three-story-house, which lies on an area of 220 square meters and is inhabited by five families of 18 members. The house is located in in Khan Younis City in the south of the Gaza Strip. About twenty minutes after this first missile hit the house, Israeli warplanes fired a heavy missile, completely destroying the house and partially damaging nine neighboring houses. Alaa Hussein Al Haj, 27 was moderately injured in the attack.
At approximately 7:30 am on Monday, 21 July 2014, Israeli warplanes attacked a motorcycle, killing the cyclist; a minor: Abdullah Abu Hjayir, 16, while driving near the Al Nusseirat refugee camp.
At approximately 8:00 am on Monday 21 July 2014, IOF fired one missile at the house of Mohammed Hasan 'Azzam, which is located in the Al Zeitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. As a result, Ahmed Mohammed 'Azzam, 22, was killed.
At approximately 9:00 am on Monday 21 July 2014, IOF fired one missile at the house of Ahmed Fayez Yasin, 25, in the Al Zeitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. As a result, Ahmed Yasin was killed.
Al Mezan expresses grave concern by the flagrant violations of international law committed by the IOF and monitored by Palestinian and international human rights organizations. The extensive use of artillery and air attacks has devastated people; especially families who were attack when they were inside their homes.
The IOF's acts represent grave breaches of IHL, amounting to war crimes. They are expected to continue in the coming days. Al Mezan also expresses outrage by the inaction of the international community despite the objective reporting from human rights organizations and international media about the manner in which the IOF has been conducting hostilities. So far, most states have focused on Israel's contested right to self-defence while overlooking the absolute prohibitions on targeting civilians and launching disproportionate attacks, an attitude that has been echoed in Israel as a green light to go forward with such serious violations, which will certainly allow the grave situation to develop graver. Should the situation continue to develop this way, international community's complacency will lead to greater numbers of civilian victims.
Al Mezan warns about the continuous prevalence of the culture of impunity; both at the international level where Israel is shielded from criticism of punishment for violations of IHL and the domestic level where Israel's justice system does not accommodate any form of effective accountability. This culture is the main motive behind the continuous commitment of war crimes and must be abolished.
Al Mezan therefore calls on the international community to:
Condemn strongly the grave breaches of IHL in the context of Operation Protective Edge;
Take immediate, effective action to provide the due protection of civilians in the Gaza Strip from military attacks and prosecution;
Carry out credible investigations into the conduct of hostilities and ensure accountability for those who prove to have committed violations and redress for the victims of these violations; and
Use multilateral and bilateral relations with Israel to insist on the immediate need to respect IHL.