The outcome of Al Mezan's monitoring and documenting finds that the first quartet of 2008 saw an unprecedented escalation in human rights violations in the Gaza Strip.
This escalation is principally caused by a serious increase in the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) systematic breaches of human rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in the Gaza Strip (Gaza).
According to the information collected by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, there was a large increase in the number of victims during the first quarter of 2008 to the extent that it exceeded the total number of people killed during some of the previous Intifada years.
Also, the tightening siege has destroyed the economy of Gaza and doubled the number of poor and unemployed, reaching unprecedented levels not before witnessed in the history of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
The siege is the worst since the IOF began its occupation of the territories in June 1967.
According to information documented by Al Mezan, the number of Gazans killed by the IOF during the first quarter of 2008 is higher than the same period in 2005, 2006, or 2007.
Moreover, this number approaches the 281 people killed by the IOF in total during 2007.
That same year, thirty-one children were killed by the IOF.
In a sharp increase, forty-two children were killed at the hands of the IOF in the first three months of 2008 alone.
In addition, IOF's destruction of public and private properties in the Gaza Strip increased during the first quarter of 2008.