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Israeli Forces Resume Gaza Offensive and Commit More Crimes

Israel Forces Resume Offensive on Gaza and Commit More Crimes;

• 12 Palestinian Civilians, Including 5 Children and 3 Women, Killed and 78 Others, Including 29 Children and 19 Women, Wounded;
• 11 Houses Destroyed

Since the Beginning of the Israeli Offensive, 2,056 Palestinians,

• 1,580 of Whom Are Civilians, Including 484 Children and 284 Women, Killed, and 10,271 Others, Mostly Civilians, Including 3,113 Children and 1,989 Women, Wounded;
• 851 Houses Destroyed by Israeli Warplanes;
• Hundreds of Families Displaced to Shelters


A few hours before the end of the truce between the Palestinian and Israeli sides which lasted for 8 days, Israeli occupation forces resumed their brutal and immoral offensive on the Gaza Strip, which they initiated in early July, in which thousands of Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed or wounded, and thousands of houses and civilian facilities have been destroyed. On Tuesdayevening, 19 August 2014, Israeli warplanes launched dozens of airstrikes targeting houses, agricultural plots and open areas. As a result of these attacks, 12 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children and 3 women, were killed under the debris of their houses that were destroyed by Israeli warplanes. The victims include the wife and child of the leader of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas). Another civilian also died of a previous wound. Additionally, 78 Palestinians, including 29 children and 19 women, were wounded, and 11 houses were destroyed. Dozens of houses and civilian facilities were damaged. Thousands of Palestinian civilians returned to humanitarian shelters leaving their houses in the areas that have been subjected to Israeli attacks.

The latest developments until 10:00 (07:00 GMT) on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, have been as follows:

The Northern Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes launched 18 airstrikes targeting houses, a water well and agricultural plots. As a result of these attacks, 21 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children and 6 women, were wounded. Additionally, 3 houses were destroyed and a number of others were damaged.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 00:30 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a 2-storey house belonging to Ahmed al-'At'out in Jabalya. The house was destroyed and a number of neighboring houses were damaged.

- At approximately 00:40, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a 5-storey house belonging to 'Omar 'Abdullah al-Hindi in Jabalya refugee camp. The house was destroyed and a number of neighboring houses were extensively damaged.

- At approximately 03:30, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a 2-storey house belonging to Sami Abu Sultan in Jabalya, damaging it extensively.

- At approximately 04:40, an Israeli warplanes bombarded a 2-storey house belonging to Nassim al-Radi' in al-Manshiya Street in Beit Lahia. The house was destroyed and 2 Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were wounded.

- At approximately 06:00, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a well in an agricultural plot belonging to Ahmed Rabi' Abu Hmaidan in al-Sikka Street in Jabalya.

- At approximately 07:20, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a 5-sstorey house belonging to 'Awadallah Subhi al-'Awadiya in Beit Lahia housing project. The house was destroyed and a number of neighboring ones were damaged.

Note: The other wounded civilians were injured by fragments of glass broken by Israeli air strikes.

Gaza City:

Israeli warplanes launched a number of airstrikes, the most violent of which was against a jouse belonging to the al-Dalu family. Israeli forces also fired a number of shells at al-Shuja'iya neighborhood. As a result of these attacks, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 women and 2 children, were killed, and 15 others, including 2 children and 2 women, were wounded.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 21:30 on Tuesday, 19 August 2014, Israeli warplanes launched 6 missiles at a 3-storey house belonging to Rabah Shihda al-Dalu, 51, in which 8 people live, together with 2 leasing families – al-Daif and Abu Sharekh, near Sheikh Radwan Cemetery in the northwest of Gaza City. As a result, the house was destroyed and 5 Palestinian civilians, including the wife and child of Mohammed al-Daif, the leader of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas), were killed: Widad Mustafa 'Asfour (al-Daif, 28; her child 'Ali Mohammed al-Daif, 7 months; Wafa' Hussein 'Aabed (al-Dalu), 47; and her sons: Ahmed, 20; and Mustafa, 14. Additionally, 15 civilians, including 2 children and 2 women, were wounded. Additionally, 4 neighboring houses and Abu 'Olba Transportation Company were extensively damaged. Six buses and a jeep were also destroyed, and 30 buses were damaged.

The Central Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes launched a number of airstrikes targeting houses and agricultural plots. As a result of these attacks, 7 members of a Palestinian family were killed, and 16 persons, including 5 women and 5 children, were wounded. Three houses were also destroyed.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 18:40 on Tuesday, 19 August 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah, while an ambulance was present in the area to evacuate potential wounded persons. As a result, the ambulance was damaged, and a paramedic was shocked.

- At approximately 03:00 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, an Israeli drones fired 2 missiles at a 2-storey house belonging to Inshirah Fayez al-Hassanat, in which 13 people live, in Deir al-Balah. A few minutes later, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house and destroyed it.

- At approximately 04:50, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a tin-roofed house belonging to Mustafa Mohammed al-Louh, in which 5 people live, in Deir al-Balah. The house and a neighboring house belonging to owner's son were destroyed, and 7 members of the family were killed: Ra'fat Mustafa al-Louh, 32; his wife Nabila 'Eid al-Louh, 28, pregnant in the 9th months; their three children: Mustafa, 10, Maisara, 8, and Farah, 6; Mohammed Mustafa al-Louh, 22; and Ahmed Mustafa al-Louh, 22.

- At approximately 06:30, Israeli drones fired 4 missiles at a 3-storey house belonging to Hussein Ibrahim al-Jamal, in which 29 people live, in al-Nussairat refugee camp. Half an hour later, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house and destroyed it. A number of neighboring houses were damaged.

Khan Yunis:

Israeli warplanes launched 22 airstrikes targeting agricultural plots and a poultry farm. As a result of these attacks, a Palestinian civilian was wounded. Another civilian also died of a previous wound.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 16:50 on Tuesday, 19 August 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a poultry farm in 'Abdul Ghafour quarter in al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis. The farm was extensively damaged.

- At the same time, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in Khuza'aa village, east of Kahn Yunis.

- At approximately 17:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Fukhari village, southeast of Khan Yunis.

- At approximately 18:30, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Zanna area, east of Khan Yunis.

- At approximately 19:20, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis.

- At approximately 20:00, medical sources declared that 'Omar Mohammed Jarghoun, 27, died of a previous wound he sustained when an Israeli drone fired a missile at a motorbike in Khan Yunis. Two civilians were killed then in the attack.

- From approximately 01:10 to 04:10 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, Israeli warplanes launched 10 airstrikes on agricultural plots in al-Qarara and 'Abassan villages and al-Zanna area.

- At approximately 01:15, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Satar al-Sharqi area. As a result, a number of houses were damaged and a Palestinian civilian was wounded.

- At approximately 06:30, Israeli warplanes launched 3 airstrikes on agricultural plots in al-Qarara village.

- At approximately 06:40, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in 'Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis.

Rafah:

Israeli warplanes launched 14 airstrikes on Rafah targeting houses, kindergartens, agricultural plots and open areas. As a result of these attacks, 25 Palestinian civilians, including 10 children and 6 women, were killed. Israeli warplanes targeted and destroyed 2 houses.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 16:50 on Tuesday, 19 August 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the destroyed Gaza International Airport, southeast of Rafah. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded.

- At approximately 17:05, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the destroyed Gaza International Airport, southeast of Rafah. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded.

- At approximately 17:15, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in Tabbet Zare' neighborhood in the east of Rafah. No casualties were reported.

- At approximately 18:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Shouka village, east of Rafah. No casualties were reported.

- At approximately 18:15, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an open area in the northwest of Rafah. No casualties were reported.

- At approximately 18:20, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an open area in the northwest of Rafah. No casualties were reported.

- At approximately 20:05, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at Toyour al-Jannah Kindergarten in al-Junaina neighborhood in Rafah. The kindergarten was destroyed.

- At approximately 06:00 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, an Israeli drone fired 2 missiles at a 2-storey house belonging to Mohammed Nazir Madhi, in which people live, in Madhi area in the north of Rafah. A few minutes later, an Israeli warplane launched 2 missiles at the house and destroyed it. A number of neighboring houses were also destroyed. As a result of this attack, 18 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and 6 women, were wounded.

- At approximately 06:45, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a house belonging to Fawzi Lafi 'Aabdin, in which 20 people live, in al-Nasser village, northeast of Rafah. A few minutes later, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house and destroyed it.

- A child and another civilian were evacuated to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah as they were wounded by Israeli airstrikes.


PCHR reiterates condemnation, expresses utmost concern for these crimes, and:

1) Calls upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to promptly visit the Gaza Strip, to fulfill her responsibilities to stop this barbaric offensive and to closely watch the systematic destruction caused and deliberate targeting of Palestinian civilians and property protected under the international law;

2) Calls upon the UN Human Rights Council to accelerate the formation of the fact-finding mission as decided by the Council in the resolution taken in its special session that was held on 23 July 2014 to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territory without any delay related to bureaucratic restrictions and procedures;

3) Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their contractual obligations not only to respect the Convention, but also ensure respect for the Convention, and to immediately intervene to stop war crimes committed by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, and calls upon the Swiss Government, the depository of the Geneva Conventions, to call for a new conference of the High Contracting Parties as soon as possible;

4) Stresses that holding war criminals accountable is an essential condition for any future settlement, and the international community should confirm that no impunity for war criminals, and the achievement of peace is conditioned by respect for human rights and the international law, and prosecution of war criminals;

5) Calls upon the Palestinian leadership to immediately accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which will provide opportunities to prosecute Israeli war criminals before the Court;

6) Stresses that the Gaza Strip is a disaster area and there is an urgent need to treat the disastrous humanitarian situation resulting from deliberate Israeli attacks on the civilian infrastructure, including electricity, water, hospitals, shelters and houses, forcible displacement of more than 500,000 civilians ad systematic and mass destruction of civilian communities;

7) Calls upon the international community to intervene to stop the policies of collective punishment and left the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than seven years, allowing the freedom of movement and goods, away from artificial improvements which have contributed to institutionalizing and prolonging the closure.

ENDS


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