The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed three Palestinian children in Rafah near the borderline between the town, southern the Gaza Strip, and Egypt.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is gravely disturbed by this crime which took place in an open area near the border where the soldiers had a clear sight and the children presence did not incur any threat on them.
According to the Center's investigations, at approximately 4:15pm Saturday, 9 April 2005, IOF opened fire at a group of children while they were playing near the borderline in Block (J) in Rafah refugee camp.
Three children were killed; 14-year-old Ashraf Samir Mousa, 14-year-old Khalid Fuad Ghannam, and 15-year-old Hasan Ahmad Abu Zaid.
They died from injuries in the chest, the neck and the head successively.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns IOF's crimes in the OPT with the strongest words, particularly the intentional killing of children.
Children have continuously been killed and injured by IOF at homes, in schools and in the streets.
They are the main victims of home demolitions and other violations committed by the IOF.
Facts on the ground refute the IOF's claim of military necessity.
It is evident, as mentioned in the Center's previous releases, that Israel has, for a long time, been in full breach of its obligations towards Palestinian children under international humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The IOF's conduct will only be encouraged by the failure of the international community to ensure respect for international law.
The Center therefore renews its call upon the international community to effectively intervene and stop such violations, including the violation of Palestinian children’s right to life.
The most recent events in the Gaza Strip reinforce the fact that the absence of such intervention leads to more violations, and to the loss of civilians’ and children’s lives.
Al Mezan also calls upon the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to investigate Israel's violations of the provisions of the Convention.
Israel must uphold its obligations under international law, and immediately stop the violation of Palestinian children’s rights.