Israeli Forces Kill 13 Palestinians in Khan Yunis

Late Sunday and early Monday, October 6 and 7, Israeli troops killed
thirteen Palestinian civilians, including four children and a woman. More than forty
Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers backed by
helicopter gunships raided Khan Yunis in Gaza Strip, opening indiscriminate
fire upon civilians. More than eighty-nine
Palestinians were wounded in the Israeli onslaught.

2002.10.07

Late Sunday and early Monday, October 6 and 7, Israeli troops killed
thirteen civilians, including four children and a woman. Israeli troops,
backed by tanks and helicopters made an incursion into Khan Yunis in Gaza
Strip, opening indiscriminate fire upon civilians. More than eighty-nine
Palestinians were wounded in the Israeli onslaught.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza, more
than forty Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers backed by
helicopter gunships raided Khan Yunis.

Israeli troops besieged Rafi
Salama’s house and opened fire, wounding his 50-year-old mother Rahima
Salama and his 15-year-old brother Mahmoud. Israeli troops then broke
into the house, handcuffed the men, and locked up the women in a room
inside the house.

Rahima died of her wounds after Israeli forces
prevented paramedics from rescuing the wounded, searching the house for
two hours.

‘Abd al-Fatah al-Salut (40) was wounded when Israeli gunships opened
fire. He died soon after. Four other Palestinians were wounded when an
Israeli gunship fired an air-to-surface missile on a home belonging to
the Abu al-Khair family.

Jamal Muharib (18) was fatally wounded in the neck and chest when Israeli
tanks opened fire on the al-Satr al-Gharbi neighborhood of Khan Yunis.

An Israeli helicopter gunship fired another missile at crowds of Khan
Yunis residents who came out of their homes when Israeli troops withdrew.
The missile killed nine, including four children and wounded more than
fifty. Ten are in a critical condition. The dead are:

1. Mohammad al-Astal, 15
2. Abdullah Sabah, 16
3. Ahmad al-Astal, 16
4. Faris al-Zakzuk, 17
5. Haitham Abu al-Naja, 27
6. Usama Abdeen, 23
7. Ihab Khalaf, 22
8. Ayman Saqir, 35
9. Mohammad Sadiq, 20

On Monday, October 07, 2002, Israeli troops at Neve Dakalim settlement
opened fire on Khan Yunis refugee camp killing Mohammad Shalula (23).

This is at the third time that Israeli forces have killed more than nine
people in a single raid in Gaza this year. On Monday September 23,
Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians in Gaza, among them seven
civilians, and one child. On Tuesday, July 23, Israeli F-16 fighter jets
bombarded a two- story building in Gaza, killing fifteen Palestinians,
including Iman Matar (27) and her children Ayman (18 months), Mohammad
(4) and Diana (5); Mona al-Huwaiti (30) and her children Subhi (4) and
Mohammad (6); Mohammad al-Shawa (40) and his son (5); Diana Raed Matar
(two months); and Ala Matar (11).

It is impossible that Israeli forces did not know civilians were present
when they chose to make this raid on Gaza, particularly as Israeli forces
fired a missile into a crowd of people.

Making civilians an object of an attack is considered a war crime under
article 85 of protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions. Israel clearly
launched an indiscriminate attack affecting the civilian population in
the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury
to civilians, or damage to civilian objects. It defines this as a war
crime.

Willful killings, prohibited under Article 3 and 147 of the Fourth Geneva
Convention, amount to grave breaches, which under the article 8 of
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and Protocol One to
the Fourth Geneva Conventions are defined as war crimes.

Such unlawful use of lethal force against civilians by
Israeli Occupation forces reveals a cynical and contemptuous disregard
for human life. It demonstrates the clear and urgent need for
Palestinians to have international protection, mandated by the UN
Security Council.

All state signatories to the Fourth Geneva Convention have also the right
and are under a positive obligation to seek out and prosecute individuals
responsible for committing or commissioning grave breaches, wherever the
perpetrators may be. Article 148 of the Fourth Geneva states that ‘no
High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other
High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by any
other High Contracting Party…’

Author: LAW

News Service: LAW – The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

URL: http://www.lawsociety.org/Press/Preleases/2002/oct/oct7.html