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Al Mezan condemns ongoing IOF offensive and calls on the international community to intervene immediately and provide protection to Palestinian civilians

18-12-2005 00:00

Between December 15th and the early morning of 18th, the IOF continued their shelling over areas of the Gaza Strip, shelling approximately 42 tank missiles and 30 air missiles, in addition to random firing from military watch towers located on the border between Gaza and Israel.
This offensive resulted in 8 injured Palestinians, among them a woman, a baby girl and a disabled person.
The main roads were closed due to damages caused by the shelling.
According to Al Mezan’s fieldworkers, Israeli tanks were positioned on the eastern borders of the northern Gaza Strip, and fired approximately 42 missiles on populated areas of east Jabalia, Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun.
Israeli air forces continued shelling areas in northern Gaza, destroying Al Sika bridge to Beit Hanoun, causing a deep ditch at the crossroads which obstructed the movement of people and vehicles.
The affected streets were Khalil Il Wazir, Salah Il Din and the Bedouin Village road; in addition unpaved roads in agricultural areas of east Jabalia and northern Beit Lahia were also damaged.
Furthermore, the shelling caused severe damages to nearby houses, injuring 7 Palestinians including 2 women and a 3- month old baby girl Maria Fikri Akhrawat who, according to medical sources, suffered shrapnel wounds to her right eye.
In addition, the IOF fired a missile on a yard pertaining to the agricultural faculty of Al Azhar University located in northern Beit Hanoun, causing partial damages to the faculty.
The IOF fired 2 missiles on To’aymat area east of the Islamic University building in Khan Younis, resulting in no casualties but terrifying civilians, most notably women and children.
The IOF also fired a missile on Salah Il Din near Sofia junction between Khan Younis and Rafah, and another missile on Hamuda petrol station in northern Gaza, causing complete inaccessibility of the road for several hours.
At approximately midnight on December 17th, the IOF opened fire on the eastern part of Shuhada cemetery in East Jabalia, injuring a mentally disabled 30-year-old citizen Wael Khami Il Qahawaji who suffered a gunshot to his left leg.
At approximately 10pm on December 17th, the IOF opened fire on houses located in northwest Beit Lahia killing another citizen, 22-year- old Lokman Mohammed Hamad Abu Zakri from Nusseirat Camp.
The IOF have maintained the closure of Sofia border crossing since December 14th and Erez border crossing since December 16th; medical patients in particular remain prevented from crossing through Erez crossing.
Al Mezan centre for human rights condemns the ongoing IOF offensive and emphasizes that such random attacks that terrify civilians, and the imposed siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, constitute war crimes by international law and notably the 4th Geneva Convention.
Therefore, Al Mezan calls upon the international community, in particular the contracting parties to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to immediately intervene to halt and put an end to Israeli war crimes and provide protection to civilians as a vital first step to effectively ending the occupation of the OPT.
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