Date: 08 Nov 2006
One day after the redeployment of Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) around Beit Hanoun, in the northern the Gaza Strip, Al Mezan reports a new IOF massacre in the town. Initial field evidence indicates that IOF fired eleven heavy artillery shells at six homes in the town killing 18. Seven of the victims are children and four are women. Sixteen of the victims belong to one family, Al Athamneh, one man to another family and one woman is still unidentified. The attack took place at 5.30am, when the victims were in their sleep. 53 civilians were also injured, including 25 children and 12 women.
Al Mezan Centre condemns this dreadful massacre with the strongest words as it condemns the targeting of innocent civilians in their sleep with such heavy weapons. The Centre is still collecting data and evidence from the field; however it suspects that these violations conducted by the IOF constitute war crimes. Hence, it demands that the international human rights bodies, which are entrusted with the monitoring and protection of human rights, to immediately instigate an investigation into the massacre that took place in Beit Hanoun today, to publish its findings, and to bring those who ordered and perpetrated it to justice in accordance with the relevant provisions of international law.
Al Mezan also condemns the shameful silence from the part of the international community, and particularly the relevant human rights bodies and High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention, in regard to the serious recent human rights record of the IOF in Gaza.
Without the effective intervention by the international community in the human rights situation in the OPT, it is only expected that more violations and massacres will continue and the victims of human rights violations will rise unremittingly and silently.
For further information please contact Mahmoud Abu Rahma (English) and Samir Zaqout (Arabic) at 08 2820442/7