12pm Local Time (10 am GMT)
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns Israel’s escalation of military force today, which started with the assassination of a person believed to be a leader in Islamic Jihad. The attack was launched in the early morning hours and killed Baha’ Abu Al-‘Ata and his wife. Another seven people were wounded.
According to information collected by Al Mezan, the house of Abu Al-’Ata, which is located in the neighborhood of Al Sheja’iya in the east of Gaza City, was targeted with a missile at approximately 4am on Tuesday, 12 November 2019. Baha’ Abu Al-‘Ata, 42, and Asmaa’ Abu Al-’Ata, 38 were killed. Of the seven wounded were four children and two women. The explosion damaged several houses and a school in the neighborhood.
A spokesperson for the Israeli army announced that its forces were behind the attack. The Israeli authorities announced that all crossing points to Gaza would be closed and the fishing zone would be reduced to six nautical miles.
At approximately 9:50am on 12 November 2019, a missile directly hit the office of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), the national human rights institution. The ICHR office, which is located in an apartment building in the west of Gaza City, was severely damaged. One of the ICHR staff, Bahjat Al-Helu, suffered light wounds.
In another attack, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a motorcycle in the Salatin neighborhood in western Beit Lahiya in the district of North Gaza. Two men were critically wounded in the attack.
It was observed that Palestinian armed groups fired missiles towards Israel. Israeli aircraft and artillery batteries attacked several targets in the Gaza Strip.
Al Mezan strongly condemns the Israeli forces’ escalation and the assassination operation in Gaza, which represents an extra-judicial execution and caused harm to civilian lives and properties. Al Mezan also expresses deep concern by this escalation, which comes when the region is enduring political uncertainties, both in Israel and Palestine.
Al Mezan therefore calls on the international community to condemn the attacks and to take immediate steps to stop the escalation and to ensure the wellbeing and protection of civilians. Civilian residents in Gaza bear the brunt of this type of military action, which is compounded by Israel’s restrictive closure measures.