what were these activists doing
why were they killed and wounded?
Date: 30 October 2011
Time: 11:30 GMT
IOF Escalate Attacks on the Gaza Strip; 9 Palestinians Killed and 5 Others Wounded
In the past 24 hours, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have escalated attacks against the Gaza Strip, and Israeli warplanes launched a series of air strikes targeting several activists of Palestinian resistance groups throughout the Gaza Strip. As a result of these attacks, 9 members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) have been killed, and another 5 Palestinians, including two civilians, one of whom is a 15-year-old child, were wounded. A number of training sites of resistance groups and a police station have been destroyed, and a number of nearby buildings and facilities were damaged. Following the first attack, in which 5 Palestinians were killed, IOF took responsibility for it, and an IOF spokesman claimed that the Israeli air force launched air strikes in the context of an operation, in which the Israeli Internal Security Service was involved, against a cell of Islamic Jihad accused of launching Grad rockets at Israeli towns. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) warns of further escalation of such attacks, and expresses concern for the lives of Palestinian civilians, especially because the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 13:15 on Saturday, 29 October 2011, Israeli warplanes fired 3 missiles at a training site of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) known as Muhajer (Immigrant) located in a former Israeli settlement in the western part of Rafah, a town in southern Gaza Strip. As a result, 5 activists of the al-Quds Brigades were killed:
1- Ahmed Khalil al-Sheikh Khalil, 36, from Rafah;
2- Mohammed Ahmed ‘Aashour, 26, from Khan Yunis;
3- ‘Abdul Karim Mousa Shatat (al-Masri), 30, from Khan Yunis;
4- Bassem Mohammed Abu al-‘Ata, 33, from Gaza City; and
5- Hassan Mohammed al-Khudari, 27, from Gaza City.
Additionally, 3 activists were moderately wounded.
At approximately 20:30 that same day, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at two activists of the al-Quds Brigades while they were walking near al-Murabetin Mosque in al-Salam neighborhood in the south of Rafah. The two activists were instantly killed. They were identified as:
1- Suleiman Mahrous Abu Fatma, 21; and
2- Sami Hamad Abu Sabt, 23, both from Rafah.
A civilian bystander, ‘Essam Mohammed Abu Qershain, 36, was moderately wounded by shrapnel.
At approximately 21:45 of the same evening, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of activists of the al-Quds Brigades, south of Wadi al-Salqa, a village located east of the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah. The missile landed near a house, and wounded an activist. Additionally, 15-year-old Rawand Tayseer Abu Mughassib, was lightly wounded in the left hand while she was on her way to her grandmother’s house in the area, according to her father. Three houses were also damaged in the attack.
Shortly thereafter, at approximately 22:30, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at two activists of the al-Quds Brigades who were near the landing ground located near Ansar security compound in the west of Gaza City. The two activists were instantly killed. They were identified as:
1- Mardi Nahidh Mohammed Hajjaj, 24; and
2- Suhail Ibrahim Jundiya, 27, both from al-Shuja’iya neighborhood in Gaza City.
On Sunday early morning, 30 October 2011, Israeli warplanes launched 5 air strikes on 4 sites in Gaza City and Khan Yunis. No casualties were reported, but Palestinian civilians were extremely terrified by attacks.
PCHR reiterates condemnation of these crimes and:
1- Stresses that these crimes form part of systematic violations perpetrated in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the Gaza Strip, which reflect Israeli forces disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians;
2- Warns of further escalation in hostilities, which may result in the targeting of civilians and their property, in light of statements made by Israeli politicians and military leaders;
3- Calls upon the international community to immediately take an action to stop such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1 which stipulates "the High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances," and their obligations under Article 146 which requires that the Contracting Parties prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and under Protocol I Additional to Geneva Conventions.
The answers to those questions are here:
an IOF spokesman claimed that the Israeli air force launched air strikes in the context of an operation, in which the Israeli Internal Security Service was involved, against a cell of Islamic Jihad accused of launching Grad rockets at Israeli towns.
And that statement is misleading, as usual, when coming from Pal. spokespersons. Twisted and incomplete, of course.