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Israeli Forces Continue Their Offensive on Gaza

Israeli Forces Continue Their Offensive on Gaza Amidst Threats to Expand It

• 30 Palestinians, 22 of Whom Are Civilians, Including 10 Children and 3 Women, Killed and 110 Others, Including 36 Children and 22 Women Wounded;

• Victims Include Father and Stepmother of Essam Younis, Director of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights;

• 14 Houses Destroyed

Since the Beginning of the Israeli Offensive:

• 2,086 Palestinians, 1,602 of Whom Are Civilians, Including 494 Children and 287 Women, Killed, and 10,381 Others, Mostly Civilians, Including 3,149 Children and 2.011 Women, Wounded;

• 865 Houses Targeted and Destroyed by Israeli Warplanes;

• Thousands of Houses Destroyed Completely or Partially by Israeli Shelling

Israeli occupation forces have continued their brutal and immoral offensive on the Gaza Strip for 45 days in violation of the international law. They have employed their full-fledged arsenal to attack the Gaza Strip from the air, sea and land, killing and wounding thousands of Palestinians, mostly civilians, including children and women. Many Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes that attacked their homes without prior warnings. Israeli forces have attacked homes, trees, sands and civilian facilities and property. On Wednesday evening, 20 August 2014, Israeli forces escalated attacks on Palestinian civilians and property. They attacked more houses and civilian gatherings, and extra-judicially executed a number of members of Palestinian armed groups. As a result of these attacks, 30 Palestinians, 22 of whom are civilians, including 10 children and 3 women, were killed. The victims include 5 members of one family, and the father and stepmother of Mr. Essam Younis, Director of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. Additionally, 110 Palestinians, including 36 children and 22 women, were wounded, and 14 houses were destroyed. Humanitarian shelters throughout the Gaza Strip are over-crowded as thousands of Palestinian civilians have resorted to them. According to UNRWA's statistics, the number of displaced civilians has amounted to at least 240,000. Most areas in the Gaza Strip lack water and electricity services due to the ongoing offensive.

The latest developments from 10:00 (07:00 GMT) on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, to 10:00 on Thursday, 03 August 2014, have been as follows:

The Northern Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes launched a number of airstrikes targeting houses, agricultural plots and open areas. As a result of these attacks, 7 Palestinians, 5 of whom are civilians, including a child, were killed, and 11 others, including 2 children, were wounded. Additionally, 4 houses were targeted and 3 of them were destroyed, and a number of other houses were damaged.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 12:15 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, an Israeli drone attacked Sofian Darwish Muhaisen, 48, and his son Mustafa, 29, from Jabalya refugee camp, when they were in a hut on their land in Beit Lahia. The father and son were killed.

- At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired dozens of artillery shells at agricultural plots and open areas in the northern Gaza Strip. The shelling continued until 23:00, damaging a number of houses.

- At approximately 17:50, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a house belonging to 'Abdullah al-Hajin in Beit Hanoun. The house was extensively damaged.

- At approximately 20:30, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in 'Assaliya Street in Jabalya. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded when they were inside their house.

- At approximately 21:15, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a members of a Palestinian armed group in al-Twam area in the west of Jabalya, killing 2 of them.

- Also at approximately 21:15, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a house belonging to Mohammed Shihada in al-Boura area in the north of Beit Hanoun. The house was destroyed and a number of neighboring houses and the building of Ghassan Kanafani Society were damaged.

- At approximately 21:45, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a 2-storey house belonging to Mohammed Ahmed al-Hamadain in al-Na'ima Street in Beit Hanoun. The house was destroyed.

- At approximately 03:15 on Thursday, 21 August 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a 2-storey house belonging to Jalal Humaid in al-Falouja area in Jabalya. The house was destroyed and a number of nearby houses and shops were damaged.

- At approximately 06:45, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Hussam 'Abed Rabbu Abu Jasser, 45, when he was on his land in Jabalya. He was instantly killed.

- At approximately 08:00, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Sorour Mohammed Tanboura, 35, and his child, 13, when they were walking near their house in al-'Atatra area in Beit Lahia. The man and the child were killed.

Gaza City:

Israeli warplanes launched 12 airstrikes targeting houses, agricultural plots, open areas, civilians and members of Palestinian armed groups. As a result of these attacks, 9 Palestinians, 8 of whom are civilians, including 4 children, were killed. The victims include 5 members of the al-Reefi family. Additionally, 13 Palestinians, including 4 children and a woman, were wounded, and 2 houses were targeted and destroyed.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at members of a Palestinian armed group near al-Maqqoussi buildings in the northwest of Gaza City, killing one of them.

- At approximately 11:30, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians who were near Hassan al-Banna Mosque in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were killed: Sami Hassan 'Ayad, 33; Nour Mahmoud Abu Hassira, 2; and Zaki Suleiman al-Ra'ei, 60. Four civilians were also wounded.

- At approximately 16:00, an Israeli warplane launched 2 missiles at a 5-storey house belonging to Mo'een Yousef al-Hadidi, in which 5 families, including 9 women and 15 children, near Humaid intersection in al-Shati refugee camp in the west of Gaza City. The house was extensively damaged, but no casualties were reported.

- At approximately 19:30, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a 5-storey house belonging to Falah 'Aashour Dughmosh, in which 10 families, including 20 children and 10 women, in al-Mughrabi Street in the south of Gaza City. Soon after, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the houses, damaging it extensively.

- At approximately 09:30 on Wednesday, 21 August 2014, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at members of the al-Reefi family who were on an agricultural plot belonging to the family in al-Nafaq Street in the north of Gaza City. As a result, 5 members of the family, including 2 children, were killed: Nasser Ziad al-Reefi, 37; his child 'Omar, 4; Mohammed Zaid al-Reefi, 28; 'Abdullah Tariq al-Reefi, 6; and Ziad Tariq al-Reefi, 13. Four others, including 2 children, were also wounded.

The Central Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes launched 9 airstrikes targeting houses, agricultural plots and a cemetery. As a result of these attacks, 4 Palestinians, including 2 children, were killed, and 27 others, including 4 women and 8 children, were wounded. Two houses were also destroyed.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 14:30 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a 3-storey house belonging to Kamel 'Abdullah Hamdan, in which 8 people live. A few minutes later, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house and destroyed it.

- At approximately 15:45, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Saher Mohammed al-'Abeet, 11, and his cousin, Mohammed 'Ammar al-'Abeet, 16, when they were walking 50 meters awat from an UNRWA shelter in Deir al-Balah. The two children were killed, and 2 others were wounded.

- At approximately 22:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at Gaza Valley Cemetery in Juhor al-Dik village. The cemetery was damaged.

- At approximately 01:30 on Thursday, 21 August 2014, an Israeli drone fired a missile at 2 members of a Palestinian armed group in Street 20 in al-Nussairat refugee camp, killing them.

- At approximately 09:00, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a house rented by Yousef Mohammed Abu Matar, in which 10 people live. The house was destroyed.

Khan Yunis:

Israeli warplanes launched 31 airstrikes targeting houses and agricultural plots. As a result of these attacks, 4 Palestinian civilians were wounded. Israeli warplanes targeted and destroyed 4 houses.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Fukhari village, southeast of Khan Yunis.

- At approximately 10:10, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in 'Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis.

- At approximately 20:10, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in 'Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis.

- At approximately 11:00, an Israeli warplane launched 2 missiles at 2 house belonging to 'Abdul Karim Abu Lihya and Mohammed Suleiman Abu Jame' in al-Zanna area, east of Khan Yunis.

- At approximately 12:05, an Israeli drone fired a missile at the vicinity of a house belonging to the al-Agha family in al-Satar al-Gharbi area, after Israeli forces had phoned a resident of the area ordering its evacuation. A few minutes later, an Israeli warplane launched 3 missiles at an adjacent open area. A house belonging to Bassam Nayef al-Agha was damaged.

- At approximately 12:10, Israeli warplanes launched 6 airstrikes on agricultural plots in various areas in Khan Yunis. No casualties were reported.

- At approximately 14:05, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Fukhari village, southeast of Khan Yunis.

- At approximately 15:10, an Israeli drone fired 2 missile at a garage in a house belonging to 'Abdul Rahman Mohammed al-'Abadla in al-Qarara village. Half an hour later, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the place and destroyed it. As a result, a nearby house belonging to Wajeeh Mohammed al-'Abadla, in which 8 people live, was destroyed.

- At approximately 15:15, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a garage in a house belonging to Haidar al-Agha, in which 18 people live, in al-Satar al-Sharqi area. The garage was destroyed and the house was damaged.

- At approximately 18:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Satar al-Gharbi area. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded.

- At approximately 18:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a balcony of a house belonging to Mohammed Karim al-Farra in Ma'an area. The house was damaged. Soon after, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the yard of the house destroying it. The electricity network in the area band a nearby house belonging to 'Abdul Malik 'Abdul Salam al-Farra were damaged. It is worth noting that the house was bombarded by Israeli warplanes on 01 August 2014, an attack which killed 9 members of the family.

- At approximately 19:45, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at 'Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis. A number of nearby houses were damaged, but no casualties were reported.

- At approximately 22:30, Israeli warplanes launched 6 airstrikes on agricultural plots in various areas in Khan Yunis. As a result, a Palestinian civilian was wounded.

- At approximately 00:10 on Thursday, 21 August 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at Qudaih quarter in 'Abassan village, but it did not explode.

- At approximately 06:05, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Satar al-Gharbi area.

- Also at approximately 06:05, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Zanna area, east of Khan Yunis.

Rafah:

Israeli warplanes launched 24 airstrikes on Rafah targeting houses, agricultural plots, open areas and tunnels at the Egyptian border. As a result of these attacks, 10 Palestinians, 7 of whom are civilians, including 3 children and 3 women, were killed. The victims include the father and stepmother of Mr. Essam Younis, Director of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. Additionally, 55 Palestinians, including 22 children and 17 women, were wounded, and 2 houses were destroyed.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

- From 13:10 to 15:00 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014,Israeli forces fired a number of artillery shells at houses and agricultural areas in al-Shouka village, east of Rafah.

- At approximately 13:50, an Israeli warplane launched 2 missiles at an open area near the Swedish Village, southwest of Rafah.

- At approximately 16:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in Tabbet Zare' neighborhood in the east of Rafah.

- At approximately 00:55 on Thursday, 21 August 20114, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a 2-storey house belonging to Jebara Ahmed Jazariya, in which 29 people live, in Musabbeh neighborhood in the north of Rafah. A few minutes later, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house and destroyed it. A woman was wounded.

- At approximately 02:35, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Salam neighborhood in the south of Rafah.

- At approximately 02:30, Israeli warplanes launched 9 missiles at a 3-storey house belonging to Nasser Hussein Killab, in which 14 people live, in Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in the west of Rafah. As a result, 10 Palestinians, including 3 leaders of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas): Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Shammala, 40, the leader of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades in the southern Gaza Strip; Ra'ed Subhi al-'Attar, 40, the leader of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades in Rafah; Mohammed Hamdan Barhoum, 45, a field leader; 4 residents of the house: Nazira Ramadan Killab, 40; and her sons, Ahmed, Yousef and 'Abdullah Nasser Killab, 17, 15 and 9 respectively; and 3 neighbors: Hassan Hussein Yunis, 75; his wife Amal Ibrahim Younis, 53; and 'Aisha Isma'il 'Atiya, 63. Additionally, 54 Palestinians, including 21 children and 16 women, were wounded, and 6 nearby house was partially destroyed.

- At approximately 02:35, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in Tabbet Zare' neighborhood in the east of Rafah.

- At approximately 05:25, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a tunnel in al-Salam neighborhood at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah.

- At approximately 07:15, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Nasser village, northeast of Rafah.

- At approximately 07:40, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in Tabbet Zare' neighborhood in the east of Rafah.

- At approximately 07:50, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah.

- At approximately 08:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah.

- At approximately 08:40, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in Tabbet Zare' neighborhood in the east of Rafah.

- At approximately o8:45, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah.


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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