The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacked the town of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza, Saturday night.
Al Mezan fieldworker reported that these forces destroyed three homes with explosives and murdered two people; one of them is an old deaf man, and restricted medical assistance from the wounded.
At around 10:30 p.
Saturday 30 November 2002 some 50 Israeli tanks, bulldozers and military vehicles penetrated the Al Atatrah area in the northwest of Beit Lahia.
They also reached the center of the town and the Al Mashru’ neighborhood, where they imposed curfew under heavy firing.
Eyewitnesses said that the army ordered three families to evacuate their homes before they destroyed them with explosives.
One of the homes is owned by the 70-year-old deaf man, Ashur Abdul Malik Salim Deib, was found dead under the rubble next morning.
One of his sons said that the soldiers ordered the family to leave the house and that they realized the father was still upstairs.
They told the soldiers about him and were assured that he will be taken out.
However, Dieb was missing after the explosion and his body was found under the rubble later.
The destroyed homes are owned by: The family of Jihad Muhammad Al Masri, a two story house occupied by 24 people.
IOF arrested two persons from Al Masri family after they destroyed their home.
Ashur Abdul Malik Salim Deib, a five-story-house occupied by 60 people.
Muhammad and Jamil Hamudeh, a three-story-house occupied by 40 people.
The first floor of this home was leased by the Ministry of Social Affairs to store relief rations.
The store was completely destroyed from the explosion.
It is worth mentioning that the explosions and firing caused much damage to other homes in the two areas.
In one incident a fire started in Muhammad Zein ad-Din’s house and car due to the shelling.
In addition, much of civilians property was damaged during the incursion.
This includes the damage of commercial stores, a private water-well, and four motor vehicles.
Moreover, many tombstones and the front wall in the Beit Lahia cemetery were damaged.
Soldiers surrounded Abu Musallam Mosque and ordered prayers, who stay in mosques at night in the holly month of Ramadan, to ‘surrender’ and released them soon.
Mahmud Muhammad an-Naarani, aged 32, was killed from a heavy bullet in his arm.
IOF prevented ambulances from entering the area where he was injured and he bled to death.
Twenty-one other people were wounded before IOF withdrew two hours after midnight.
Al mezan Center for Human Rights condemns Israel’s use of home demolition as a punishment of Palestinians.
The Center is especially concerned by the increasing numbers of demolished homes after the Israeli High Court corroborated such demolitions as a punishment procedure in a grave breach of the internationally accepted standards of human rights.
Al Mezan believes that the silence of the international community encourages Israel to continue perpetrating war crimes and disregard to civilians lives, and requests the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties of the 4th Geneva Convention, to review its stand and provide urgent protection for Palestinian civilians and their property.
Such protection is a necessary fist step towards ending the illegal Israeli occupation of the OPTs.