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IOF Kill 3 Palestinian Children in Beit Hanoun, Increasing Deaths among Palestinian Children since the Beginning of the Intifada to 797
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release
30 August 2007



PCHR strongly condemns the crime committed by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, which took the lives of 3 Palestinian children from one same family. IOF fired a surface-to-surface missile at the three children who were grazing sheep near an area, from which home-made rockets are often fired. Investigations conducted by PCHR indicate that no Palestinian resistance activists were present in the area when the children were attacked. The three children had always grazed animals in the area. Less than 10 days ago, two Palestinian children were killed in a similar attack in the same town.



According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 17:00, on Wednesday, 30 August 2007, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, southeast of Beit Hanoun fired a surface-to-surface missile at 3 Palestinian children, including a girl, who were grazing animals to the north of Beit Hanoun, nearly 2000 meters away from the border, and 30-40 meters away from launchers used by Palestinian resistance activists to fire home-made rockets at Israeli town. Two children were instantly killed and the third one was wounded, but died later. The victims were identified as:

1. Yahia Ramadan Atiya Abu Ghazal, 12;

2. Mahmoud Mousa Hassan Abu Ghazal, 8; and

3. Sarah Suleiman Abdullah Abu Ghazal, 9.



This crime has been the second of its kind in less than 10 days as on 21 August 2007, IOF fired a surface-to-surface missile at two Palestinian children who were playing near launchers of home-made rockets in Beit Hanoun, killing them. Thus, the number of Palestinian children killed by IOF since the beginning of the current Palestinian Intifada had increased to 797.



PCHR expresses deep concern over this latest crime, and:



1. Condemns such crimes that are a continuation of a series of crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that reflect disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, and views IOF operations as acts of reprisal and collective punishment that violate Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949).

2. Points out that IOF does not respect the principles of necessity and proportionality in using its war machine in inhabited areas, leading to additional victims among the civilian population and their properties.

3. Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to stop such crimes, and calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to fulfill their obligation under article 1 of the Convention to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under article 146 to search for and prosecute those who are responsible for perpetrating grave breaches of the Convention, as such breaches constitute war crimes according to article 147 of the Convention and the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I).

For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 - 2825893

PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail: pchr@pchrgaza.org, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org

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