Between 18 and 24 May 2004, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) carried out a military operation in the southern Gaza Strip city of the Rafah , named “Operation Rainbow”.
According to official Israeli statements, the alleged objectives of this military operation were to arrest wanted operatives and uncovers weaponry and tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
This operation started 3 days only after the termination of another IOF operation in Rafah from 13 to 15 May during which the IOF destroyed 120 houses; 92 of which were completely destroyed.
Furthermore, the Government of Israeli had officially announced its approval for the destruction of hundreds of more houses on the borderline.
Although only one tunnel was uncovered during the seven-day “Operation Rainbow” in Rafah camp, the military operation nevertheless resulted in the killing of 44 Palestinians including 18 children below the age of 18 years, the demolition of 400 houses; 117 of which completely demolished.
Some 4,171 Palestinians were living in these homes.
Over $8000,000 of damage on the municipal’s infrastructure and major human rights violations.
Therefore, strong of its mandate to monitor, document and denounce human right violations in the Gaza Strip, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights issued bi-daily updates on the situation in Rafah during the entire IOF operation.
The reporting exercise concentrated on providing raw information and information on the military operation, including affidavits on the human rights violations, press reports and the international statements.
Based on this verified and confirmed raw data, Al Mezan has prepared the present report which provides a complete overview of “Operation Rainbow” in terms of the military operations, the different human rights violations perpetrated by the IOF in the course of the operation, the actions undertaken by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the International and Israeli reactions and statements.