In a recent escalation, the Israeli air force launched three air strikes over different areas of the Gaza Strip.
According to the Center's fieldworkers, the Israeli air force hit the Abu Laban house in Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip on September 24th, 2005, at approximately 5:05 am.
The house was partially destroyed; no casualties were reported.
Five minutes later, missiles hit an unpopulated area near the Ali Bin Abu Taleb mosque, in the western Az-Zaitoun area of Gaza City.
No casualties or property damage were reported.
Shortly afterwards, at approximately 5:15am, the Israeli air force shelled a blacksmith workshop owned by Ghazi Abu Assi, near As-Seka Street in the eastern Az-Zaitoun area of Gaza City.
The workshop was partially destroyed and one Palestinian was wounded in the attack.
The air force continued to break the sound barrier over the Strip, producing sonic booms that sound like explosions and thus caused panic among the population.
The Israeli military has maintained the closure of the Rafah crossing, the only crossing to the outside world for Gazan Palestinians.
While the Strip’s sole crossing point to the outside world remains closed, no progress have been made on the building of a seaport, or the reopening of Gaza’s airport.
Domestically, an explosion at a September 23rd Hamas rally killed 19 Palestinians and injured 130 others.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority disagreed about the cause of the explosion, with Hamas blaming Israel, and the PA claiming Hamas’ weapons caused the deaths.
Al Mezan regrets the loss of life during this incident, and calls on the PA to open an investigation into the incident.
Civilian loss of life has been caused by both Israeli air strikes and mistakes by armed groups.
The Center is gravely concerned about military parades carried out by armed groups, which carry the inherent danger of such accidents.
Al Mezan calls on armed groups to stop military parades, respect the law, and reinforce the internal security of Palestinians society The Center condemns the Israeli army’s offensive and the siege imposed on Gaza by the closure of the Rafah crossing.
Al Mezan believes the latest actions of the Israeli army illustrate the false nature of the disengagement.
Just weeks after the ostensible exit of the army, Gazan airspace continues to be violated, and the Strip’s Rafah crossing remains closed.
Al Mezan emphasizes that Israeli practices such as the arbitrary and random shelling of Palestinian property, the killing of Palestinian civilians and the imposition of a tight siege all constitute grave breaches of international law, particularly of the Fourth Geneva Convention The Center calls on the international community to put an end to Israeli war crimes and provide protection to the Palestinians in the OPT.