On Tuesday evening, 13 July 2010, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed a Palestinian woman and wounded another three civilians (an elderly man and two women), all of the same family, after bombarding their home with artillery shells. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns this crime, which constitute the highest degree of disregard for Palestinian civilians' lives. PCHR stresses that failure to open investigations into the actions of suspected Israeli soldiers officially encourages them to commit further crimes.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR and statements given by a member of the victims' family, at approximately 20:45 on Tuesday, 13 July 2010, a number of women from the Abu Sa'id family from the Gaza Valley village, in the central Gaza Strip, were sitting near their house, which is approximately 400 meters from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. At this time, Israeli troops positioned at the border fired two artillery shells at the house; the troops were unprovoked and the witnesses could not suggest any reason for the attack. As a result, Amira Jaber Abu Sa'id, 30, was wounded by shrapnel to the shoulder and her sister-in-law, Sana'a Ahmed Abu Sa'id, 26, was wounded by shrapnel to the feet. Members of the Abu Sa'id family phoned the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to send ambulances to the area. Ambulances arrived at the area fifteen minutes later, but were unable to reach the targeted house because IOF continued to fire on the area. The ambulances were forced to drive back to Deir al-Balah. At this time, Ne'ma Yousef Abu Sa'id, 33, remembered that her three-year-old child was still outside the house. She went to find her child, but IOF fired a third shell at her. Ne'ma was killed instantly by shrapnel to the head and the abdomen. Her father-in-law, Jaber Abu Sa'id, 65, was also wounded by shrapnel wounds to the right thigh. The family continued to call the PRCS. Approximately one and a half hours later, a PRCS ambulance arrived at the scene after coordination with the Israeli authorities through the Palestinian Liaison Office. The ambulance transferred the dead woman and the wounded to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al- Balah. Medical sources at the hospital affirmed that Ne'ma Abu Sa'id died of shrapnel wounds from an artillery shell. The wounds of the other persons were described as moderate.
PCHR condemns this crime, and:
- Stresses that this crime is a part of a series of continuous crimes committed by IOF in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) with total disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.
- 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, as well as 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).