The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the assassination, on Sunday, 07 October 2012, of 1 Palestinian man and the severe injury of another. 8 civilian bystanders, including 4 children and 1 woman, were also wounded in the attack. PCHR calls upon the international community to immediately act to stop these actions by Israel’s forces and renews its call for the Higher Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 17:10 on Sunday, an Israeli warplane fired two missiles at two men in civilian clothing who were riding a motorcycle, as they were passing by Taha Hussain Elementary School in the Al-Brazil neighborhood, south of Rafah. It should be noted that the attack was carried out at the end of the school day, moments before the students began to leave the school.
The targeted persons, Abd-Allah Hassan Mikawy (24) and Tal’at Khalil Al-Darbi (23), both from Rafah, sustained burns and shrapnel wounds throughout their bodies. Their condition was described as critical. Abd-Allah Hassan Mikawy was transported to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. His leg was amputated but he died of his wounds on Monday evening. Tal’at Khalil Al-Darbi was transported to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, where his leg was amputated, according to medical sources.
8 civilian bystanders were wounded in the attack, including 4 children and 1 woman, the mother of 2 of the wounded children. They were visiting the woman’s family home at the time of the attack. The wounded were transported to Abu-Yousif Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah, and their wounds were described as moderate. The victims were identified as:
1- Sabrin Hussain Al-Qatrous (Al-Maqousi) (23), from Jabalia Camp, who was wounded inside her parents’ house;
2- Bisan Muhammad Al-Maqousi, (1 month), from Jabalia Camp, who was wounded inside her grandparents’ house;
3- Nassim Muhammad Al-Maqousi (2), from Jabalia Camp, who was wounded inside his grandparents’ house;
4- Malak Hisham Abu-Jazar (3), from Al-Brazil neighborhood in Rafah, who was wounded in front of her family home;
5- Bashir Mustafa Keshta (10), from Al-Brazil neighborhood in Rafah, who was wounded while walking in the street;
6- ‘Awad Muhammad Abu-’Armana (30), from Al-Brazil neighborhood in Rafah, who was wounded in front of his house;
7- Juhad Housni Al-Qatrous (27), from Al-Brazil neighborhood in Rafah, who was wounded in front of his house; and
8- Abdul-Hadi Mahmoud Abu-Mor (56), from Al-Salam neighborhood in Rafah, who was wounded while on his way to the mosque attend Al-Maghreb (Sunset) prayer.
Israeli radio quoted military sources, reporting that the raid had targeted two alleged members of the Global Jihad organization. The report alleged that the men were planning a complex military attack in Sinai that was scheduled to be carried out in the coming period.
PCHR reiterates condemnation of these crimes, expresses utmost concern over such escalation, and:
1- Stresses that these crimes form part of systematic violations perpetrated in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the Gaza Strip, which reflect Israeli forces’ disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians; and
2- Calls upon the international community to immediately take an action to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1 which stipulates “the High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances,” and their obligation under Article 146 which requires that the Contracting Parties prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and under Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions.