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Mon Jul 14, 2014, 11:58 PM

B'Tselem info sheet: 52 Palestinians killed in bombings of homes in Gaza Strip, which are unlawful


A house bombed in Gaza. Photo: Muhammad Salem, reuters, 13 July 2014


According to B'Tselem's initial findings, from the start of Operation Protective Shield there were ten incidents in which Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed when the Israeli military bombed homes. 52 people were killed in these incidents, of them 19 minors and 12 women. An additional incident, in which six members of the same family were killed was defined by the military as a targeted killing, and was therefore not included in this figure.

Official spokespeople state that it is enough for a person to be involved in military activity to render his home (and his neighbors' homes) legitimate military targets, without having to prove any connection between his activity and the house in which he and his family live. This interpretation is unfounded and illegal. It is not a coincidence that the number of uninvolved civilians killed or injured by these bombings is growing. The law is meant to protect civilians and, unsurprisingly, violating it has lethal consequences. Euphemisms such as "surgical strikes" or "operational infrastructure" cannot hide the facts: illegal attacks of homes, which constitute punitive home demolition from the air, come at a dreadful cost in human life.

Detailed discussion:

Is it legal for the military to bomb the homes of Hamas operatives?

From 8 July 2014, when the military launched Operation Protective Shield, to early Sunday 13 July, the military bombed dozens of houses in the Gaza Strip, according to media reports and statements by the IDF Spokesperson. According to the latter, these bombings are legal because the private homes of Hamas activists are "a legitimate military objective". Is that true?

What does the law say?

International humanitarian law defines a military target as follows:

"[…] military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage." (Article 52 (2), Protocol I Additional to the Fourth Geneva Convention)

in full: http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20140713_palestinians_killed_in_illegal_attacks_on_houses

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Reply B'Tselem info sheet: 52 Palestinians killed in bombings of homes in Gaza Strip, which are unlawful (Original post)
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 OP
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #1
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #2
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #3
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #4
cerveza_gratis Jul 2014 #7
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #8
Bodhi BloodWave Jul 2014 #5
King_David Jul 2014 #6
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #9
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #10
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #11
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #12
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #13
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #14
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #15
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 #16

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 08:32 AM

1. Attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinians

Attacks on Israeli Civilians by Palestinians

Published:
1 Jan 2011

Attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians have taken various forms over the years, chiefly: throwing stones at vehicles and people; firearm attacks; detonating bombs in populated areas and on buses; firing rockets at settlements in the Gaza Strip; and – since the evacuation of the settlements in the Gaza Strip as part of the Israeli withdrawal – firing rockets at Israeli communities near Gaza. These violent attacks have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and injured thousands in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Attacks aimed at civilians undermine all rules of morality and law. Specifically, the intentional killing of civilians is considered a "grave breach" of international humanitarian law and a war crime. Whatever the circumstances, such acts are unjustifiable.

Palestinian organizations raise several arguments to justify attacks on Israeli civilians. The main argument is that "all means are legitimate in fighting for independence against a foreign occupation. "This argument is completely baseless , and contradicts the fundamental principle of international humanitarian law . According to this principle, civilians are to be protected from the consequences of warfare , and any attack must discriminate between civilians and military targets . This principle is part of international customary law; as such, it applies to every state, organization, and person, even those who are not party to any relevant convention.

Palestinian spokespersons distinguish between attacks inside Israel and attacks directed at settlers in the Occupied Territories. They argue that, because the settlements are illegal and many settlers belong to Israel's security forces, settlers are not entitled to the protections granted to civilians by international law.

This argument is readily refuted. The illegality of the settlements has no effect at all on the status of their civilian residents. The settlers constitute a distinctly civilian population, which is entitled to all the protections granted civilians by international law. The Israeli security forces' use of land in the settlements or the membership of some settlers in the Israeli security forces does not affect the status of the other residents living among them, and certainly does not make them proper targets of attack.

B'Tselem strongly opposes the attempts to justify attacks against Israeli civilians by using distorted interpretations of international law. Furthermore, B'Tselem demands that the Palestinian Authority do everything within its power to prevent future attacks and to prosecute the individuals involved in past attacks.


http://www.btselem.org/israeli_civilians

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 08:40 AM

2. July 14, 2014

Deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups defies humanity and is morally
and legally reprehensible


According to IDF Spokesperson figures published in the media, since the beginning of Operation Protective Shield, Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups have launched over 800 rockets and mortar shells into Israeli territory. Figures released by Israeli medical emergency services provider Magen David Adom indicate that during the first six days of the operation, 13 Israelis were injured by shrapnel, debris from buildings that had been hit, or fires that were the result of rocket landings. According to estimates, without Israel’s advanced air defense system, the number of casualties and the scope of the damage would have been greater.

Millions of Israeli citizens, many of whom are children, have been living under the threat of rocket fire for almost a week. For hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in the south of the country, this terrible situation is part of an ongoing routine. The unrelenting attacks have disrupted their lives, denied their right to live in security and hurt their ability to make a living. Every venture outside – to work, school, or a recreational activity – is attended by a sense of danger. Some residents have even decided to relocate for fear they or their loved ones would get hurt.

The deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups is an act that defies humanity and is morally and legally reprehensible.

http://www.btselem.org/israeli_civilians/20140714_rockets_fired_by_hamas_into_israel

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 11:48 AM

3. ( Eyes Wide Open Photo Blog ) Gaza Strip, July 2014: A constant state of emergency

According to B’Tselem’s initial inquiries, by yesterday evening (14 July 2014) at least 172 Palestinians had been killed in Israel’s airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. This number includes 34 minors (eight younger than 6 years old), 20 women (under 60) and 10 senior citizens. Our field researchers in Gaza have been working ceaselessly, night and day, to document events. Our field researchers in the West Bank have been lending a hand by collecting testimonies over the phone. Our office staff has been processing and verifying information, and trying to convey the incomprehensible scope of the infringement on human rights.

The following seven photos were taken by our field workers in Gaza. They include images from the Kaware’ family home, where eight people, including six minors, were killed, and from the Hamad family home where six members of that family, including one girl – a minor – were killed.



in full: http://www.btselem.org/photoblog/201407_gaza_strip

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 06:09 PM

4. Initial figures: 172 People killed in Gaza Strip (to evening of 14 July 2014)

According to B'Tselem's initial figures, 172 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip in the time between early Tuesday, 8 July 2014, when Operation Protective Edge airstrikes on Gaza began until the evening of 14 July.

The fatalities include:

34 minors

20 women (under age 60)

10 senior citizens

Initial findings indicate that 43 of the people killed were involved in combat.

http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20140715_gaza_bombing_preliminary_data

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #4)


Response to cerveza_gratis (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 07:58 PM

8. Cease fire and truce sounds smart to me. I hope they get there sooner than later. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 07:06 PM

5. Now it might just be me but if we go by this point of view as legit

Official spokespeople state that it is enough for a person to be involved in military activity to render his home (and his neighbors' homes) legitimate military targets, without having to prove any connection between his activity and the house in which he and his family live.

*

Wouldn't that more or less by definition make most houses in Israel valid military targets considering the minor fact that Israel has compulsory conscription of all Israeli citizens over the age of 18 with some exceptions?

Now i agree the above viewpoint is NOT legit, but if one were to accept it then the extension of it atleast to my mind would result in my above line being fairly accurate.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 07:09 PM

6. Just a few hours ago Hamas rejected an Egyptian brokered cease fire deal.

Israel accepted it.

Now the senseless carnage continues.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 10:18 AM

9. B'Tselem: Israel Failed to Provide Connection between Targets and Military Activity

Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has issued an information sheet stating that the interpretation presented by the Israeli forces spokesperson -- that it is enough for a person to be involved in a military activity to render his home and his neighbors’ homes legitimate military targets without having to prove any connection between his activity and the house in which he and his family live -- is unfounded and illegal.

http://www.imemc.org/article/68487

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 08:07 PM

10. Military demand to evacuate rehabilitative hospital in Gaza unlawful

July 16, 2014

B’Tselem has discovered that the Israeli military included the al-Wafaa rehabilitative hospital in a-Shuja’iyeh neighborhood in the demand it issued to residents of the a-Shuja’iyeh and a-Zeitun neighborhoods to evacuate their homes by today, July 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM. Hospital Director Basman al-‘Ashi told B’Tselem over the phone that the hospital received a recorded message last night at around 11:10 PM, saying that a-Shuja’iyeh residents must leave the area and move north to the city center. Shortly thereafter, at around 11:30 PM, the hospital received another phone call from a person saying he was from the military who repeated the demand to evacuate the hospital specifically.

According to al-‘Ashi, the hospital currently has 17 patients, between the ages of 14 and 95, all suffering from different degrees of paralysis. There are also some thirty staff members in the hospital at this time and a number of international activists. Al-‘Ashi clarified that there is no intention to evacuate the hospital, noting that this was one of the only hospitals in Gaza to offer rehabilitative treatment for patients in these conditions.

The military’s demand to evacuate the hospital is unlawful. A hospital is not a military target and the military may not target it even after it is evacuated. The information B’Tselem has indicates that the hospital was ordered to evacuate as part of the sweeping demand to evacuate the entire neighborhood, in blatant disregard for the fact that evacuating a rehabilitation institution is a complicated task which may put lives at risk. There is no other rehabilitative institute in the area where patients can be transferred. These patients require special conditions that cannot be recreated. Transferring hospital patients is complicated and dangerous at the best of times. Under the current conditions in Gaza, the danger is mortal.




http://www.btselem.org/press_release/20140716_al_wafa_hospital

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu Jul 17, 2014, 12:33 PM

11. Bassam Khatab on the missile that killed his 5-year-old son, ‘Abd a-Rahman, at home, in Deir al-Bala

I have three sons and a daughter: Ahmad, 9, Muaiad, 7, 'Abd a-Rahman, 5, and Hibah, 1. We live in a three-story building with our extended family in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. We live on the second floor. My brother Murad and his family live in the floor underneath us, and my parents and sister live across from him. Another brother, Muhammad, lives with his family on the third floor.

On Thursday, 10 July 2014, at around 6:30 P.M., I was with my brothers Muhammad, Marwan and Riad in our sheep pen, next to our house. We were feeding the sheep and waiting for the Muazzin to call out for the first evening prayer, which marks the breaking of the Ramadan fast for the day.

We heard surveillance airplanes flying low overhead. Suddenly, we heard an explosion in the sky and realized a missile had been fired. I heard the missile fly through the air and then an explosion. Stones and shrapnel hit the tin roof of the pen. I saw Maryam, Muhammad's wife, on the roof of the building. She was screaming frantically. We ran upstairs quickly.

Muhammad got there before me. He told me afterwards that he went into his apartment and found my son 'Abd a-Rahman in his bedroom. He was lying on the bedroom floor. His legs were chopped off at the knees and he had shrapnel wounds all over his body and face. When I got to Muhammad's apartment, I saw him standing in the doorway. He was holding a severely wounded child. I took the child from him without knowing it was my son. I starting carrying the child downstairs, and only then I looked at his face and realized it was 'Abd a-Rahman, my five-year-old. He was dead. I was stunned. I shouted: "My son is dead!" One of my brothers called an ambulance, which came a few minutes later. We took 'Abd a-Rahman to Shuhadaa al-Aqsa Hospital.

http://www.btselem.org/testimonies/20140716_khatab

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Fri Jul 18, 2014, 08:11 PM

12. Human Rights NGO's: A procedure to evacuate those injured in the Gaza Strip is required immediately


18 Jul 2014

In light of last night's events: A procedure to evacuate those injured in the Gaza Strip is required immediately

B'Tselem – Gisha-Legal Center for Freedom of Movement – Machsom Watch – Physicians for Human Rights-Israel – Public Committee Against Torture in Israel – Rabbis for Human Rights – The Association for Civil Rights in Israel – Yesh Din

Information received during the night, following the ground invasion, indicates that the movement of ambulances to evacuate the wounded and the independent evacuation of civilians from areas/homes under bombardment is impossible due to continuous and heavy fire in residential areas. Last night at around 21:00, reports were received of damage to Al Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital in Sejaiya. According to media reports rockets were stored in a building near the hospital, which was bombed later. Inside the hospital at the time were 17 patients in serious condition (for whom evacuation presents a real danger to their condition), staff and international activists.

Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) and B'Tselem warned in advance about their presence in the building but in spite of this, and after additional warnings to the hospital, the building was damaged. In this case, evacuation was eventually made possible following intervention and pressure from many bodies.

In another case, which continued through the night, the Alswarka family from Beit Lahiya area turned to PHR-Israel with a desperate call for assistance to evacuate them from the line of fire. The family of several dozen people, including women and children, called from the ground floor of their home which had been damaged by the shelling, while heavy fire continued around them. Some family members were injured and required medical treatment. Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances that tried to reach them, as well as other sites in the neighborhood encountered firing. For hours, attempts were made to contact different official organizations for help to evacuate the family. Towards morning contact with the family was lost, but it seems that some of them were evacuated.

It should be noted that as part of the lessons learned the "Cast Lead" operation, and in accordance with its legal obligations, the military pledged to prepare a coordination mechanism that would allow the evacuation of the wounded and give access to ambulances within a reasonable time. The incidents of last night clearly illustrate that this mechanism, even if it exists on paper, is not sufficiently effective. Accordingly, we urge immediate action to honor this legal obligation to institute a mechanism to regulate the evacuation of the wounded in the Gaza Strip. We call for protection to be provided to rescue teams and medical personnel in the Gaza Strip, to allow them to perform their duties without exposing them to danger. This is to ensure the principle of the sanctity of life and to avoid delays in evacuating the wounded - delays which may be critical and result in more victims.

http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20140718_joint_statement_on_evacuation_procedure_for_the_injured_in_gaza

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sat Jul 19, 2014, 08:34 AM

13. May Hamadah, 33, who is fully paralyzed, describes the bombing of the hostel she lives in,

which killed two and injured four.




My name is May Hamadah. I'm 33 years old. I was born in the a-Tufah neighborhood in Gaza, but since 1994 I've lived in a hostel for people with disabilities run by the "Mabrat Falastin" organization in Beit Lahiya. I am a quadriplegic. The hostel is my only home.

The hostel is on the ground floor of a two-story building. The second floor is empty. The hostel has seven rooms and a big hall. Outside the building there is a garden with olive and palm trees. On Saturday, 12 July 2014, we woke up early, like we do every day during Ramadan. We ate the suhoor meal together, which marks the beginning of fasting for the day. There were five of us there that morning, because on weekends some of the hostel residents visit their families. Our caregiver, Salwa Abu al-Qumsan, was with us too.

We heard the Muazzin call out and prepared for prayer. It was about 4:30 A.M. Suddenly, there was a loud explosion. Everything shook and the walls collapsed. The hostel filled with dust and smoke.

It took me a few minutes to come around and understand what had happened. The dust and smoke dispersed a bit, and I could see. The hostel was completely destroyed. There were broken things everywhere. I checked myself and discovered I was wounded in my head, abdomen and legs . I saw my friends 'Ula and Suha lying on the floor next to me. They weren't moving. They looked terrible. I knew right away that they’d been killed. The missile hit the roof and entered the hostel from the top floor.

After a few minutes, an ambulance came and took me to hospital. As they were taking me away, I saw that two other residents had been injured and Salwa, our caregiver, was suffering from burns. In hospital, people who came to visit told me that about seven minutes before the hostel was bombed, neighbors heard warning missiles. We heard nothing inside the hostel. Even if we had heard the warning, we wouldn’t have been able to do anything, because we’re all severely handicapped and none of us can move without help. Salwa wouldn't have been able to get us out of there by herself.

Besides, we never imagined they would bomb a hostel for the disabled. Didn't they know what was in there? I can't understand why they bombed us and killed my two friends. Even so, I think we were lucky. It could have been much worse. Luckily, the bombing happened on a Saturday, when many of the residents go to their families, so only five of us were there instead of nineteen. I don't want to imagine what would have happened if we were all there. I'm still in hospital, along with two friends from the hostel and our caregiver.

May Nahed Muhammad Hamadah, 33, lives in a special needs hostel in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip. She gave her testimony by phone to Musa Abu Hashhash, B'Tselem's field researcher in Hebron, on 16 July 2014.

http://www.btselem.org/testimonies/20140714_diabled_center_hamada

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 04:11 PM

14. B’Tselem calls on the Government of Israel to immediately cease the bombardment of inhabited homes,

neighborhoods and areas in the Gaza Strip

The horrific developments in Gaza have reached intolerable heights: Israel is bombing houses with people in them, entire families have been buried under rubble, and streets lie in ruins. Hundreds have been killed so far, dozens in the last 24 hours only, many of them women and children. The number of refugees is rising: tens of thousands of people have nowhere to go and no safe haven, as the besieged Gaza Strip is bombarded.

Israel considers any perceived link to Hamas justification for attack. Hamas considers any place in Israel a target. One party fires at civilians, more often than not missing the target thanks to the Iron Dome defense system. The other party fires at densely populated civilian areas, with deadly results on a shocking scale.

Hamas makes no pretense to follow the laws of war. Israel does, but holds Hamas responsible for its own actions – the dead, the refugees, the destroyed homes. Yet unlawful actions by one party cannot justify unlawful actions by the other, and regardless, each party bears sole responsibility for the outcome of its actions. Israel may proclaim its actions in Gaza to be moral and lawful, but the horrifying reality on the ground makes it impossible to further countenance Israel’s cynical use of legal terms such as “proportionality”, “discriminate [attacks]” and “duty of care”. Israel is exploiting these words to justify the death and destruction it is wreaking on the Gaza Strip.

http://www.btselem.org/20140721_btselem_calls_on_government_to_cease_bombardment

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 06:06 PM

15. Initial findings: 25 members of a single family killed when their house was bombed, apparently

without warning

On Sunday, 20 July 2014, at around 7:00 PM, the home of the Abu Jame' family in the Bani Suheila neighborhood, northeast of Khan Yunis, came under attack.

Israeli forces bombed the four-story building that is home to the extended family: the matriarch, Fatmeh Abu Jame', her four sons, and their wives and children. The family were eating iftar, the meal that breaks Ramadan fasting for the day. B’Tselem’s initial findings indicate that the likely target of the attack was Ahmad Suliman Sahmoud, a member of Hamas’ military wing, who was visiting a member of the family.

Everyone who was in the house at the time of the bombing was hurt: 25 members of the Abu Jame' family were killed, as well as Hamas operative Sahmoud. The rest were injured, including at least three of Fatmeh Abu Jame's sons and one of her daughters, who were taken to the a-Nasser medical center in Khan Yunis. Many bodies were buried under the rubble and removed only this morning.

Information B’Tselem has at this stage indicates that no warning was issued and no warning missile was fired prior to the attack. B’Tselem continues its investigation of the incident.

Full list of fatalities, according to B’Tselem's initial field investigation:

http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20140721_killing_of_abu_jame_family

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 08:57 AM

16. Salman Abu Namus on the bombing that killed his 3-year-old son in Jabalya RC, northern Gaza Strip



We live in Tel a-Za’tar neighborhood in Jabalaya refugee camp. I work as a civil servant and we have five children. Since the operation began, the Israeli army has been bombing our area a lot. It was like that in previous operations, too. There’s empty farmland close to our homes, so I guess they think rockets are being fired from there. My home was severely damaged in previous airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, 11 July 2014, at around 2:00 P.M., a resident of our neighborhood was killed in a bombing: Mahmoud Rabi’ Abu Hamidan, 60. His funeral was set to take place right after afternoon prayers at al-Imam a-Shaf’i Mosque in our neighborhood, which is less than 100 meters from my home. I decided to go to the prayers and the funeral.

My three-year-old son, Saher, is very attached to me. He goes almost everywhere with me and won’t let me leave the house without him. He even comes along when I exercise. When he saw me getting ready to leave for the funeral, he asked to come along. I tried to persuade him to stay home and told him it was very dangerous outside, but he insisted. When I refused, he literally hung off my neck and wouldn’t let me leave. In the end, I agreed. I told him to shower and change clothes so he could come with me, and then we went to the mosque together. I went into the mosque and Saher stayed outside to play with some other children.

http://www.btselem.org/testimonies/20140720_abu_namus

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