The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed three farmers, one of whom was an elderly man with his child grandson as they worked in their land in the north-Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, and the third was a child. The IOF fired artillery shells at the farmers who were in their land less than 500 meters from the northern separation fence between Gaza and Israel. In a separate attack, in the morning of Tuesday 14 September 2010, the IOF opened fire on a peaceful demonstration against the 'security buffer zone'. As Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has frequently asserted, the IOF enforcement of the 'security buffer zone' inside the Gaza Strip has been carried out by means and methods that gravely violate international law. Al Mezan condemns these Israeli violations and calls on the international community to protect civilians and stop the IOF deadly enforcement of the 'security buffer zone' in Gaza.
According to Al Mezan's field investigations, at approximately 11:40am on Tuesday 14 September 2010, an IOF force positioned at the northern separation fence opened heavy fire on a peaceful demonstration organized by the Local Initiative in Beit Hanoun. The demonstrations are organized weekly to protest the imposition of the so-called “security buffer zone”. Demonstrators were about 300 meters from the separation fence when the IOF opened fire on them. They were trying to fill a trench in the ground, which the IOF had dug on Thursday on 2 September 2010 during its incursion into that area. The trench was two meters wide, tree meters deep, and about 800 meters long. It was located about 300 meters from the northern separation fence, which suggests it marked the Israeli declared “security buffer zone” inside the Gaza Strip.
In a separate attack at approximately 5:10pm on Sunday 12 September 2010, the IOF fired three artillery shells at three Palestinian farmers who were in their land in the Shurab area northeast of Beit Hanoun town. They were approximately 500 meters from the separation fence. As a result, an elderly farmer, Ibrahim Abdullah Suleiman Abu Es'ayid, 91, his child grandson Hussam Khalid Abu Es'ayid, 16, and Ismail Waleed Mohammed Abu Owda, 16, were killed.
According to Al Mezan's field investigations, Abu Es'ayid and his grandson were gazing sheep in their lands west of the Shabat land in the area. Abu Owda was also grazing sheep in his land west of the Abu Es'ayid family’s land when the IOF fired artillery shells at them. Thirty minutes after the attack, the elderly Abu Es'ayid and Abu Owda were admitted to the hospital. Abu Owda's head was separated from his body and medical teams could not find it. Medical teams found the dead body of the child Abu Es'ayid more than an hour after the attack. On the next day, people found the head of the Abu Owda. 25 goats belonging to the Abu Owda family and 18 goats belonging to the Abu after family were also killed in the attack.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns these Israeli flagrant violations of the international law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 1949. Al Mezan calls on the international community to take prompt and urgent actions to ensure protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Al Mezan calls on the international community to intervene to stop the IOF enforcing of the security buffer zone inside the Gaza Strip. This conduct contradicts international law. The means and methods employed by Israel to enforce it are lethal and gravely violate international law. The enforcement of this zone has had serious humanitarian impacts on the population of the Gaza Strip, but especially for the farmers communities who live or have lands near the border.
Rights group condemns 3 Gaza killings
Published yesterday 20:18
On Sunday night Israeli forces fired shells at a 91-year-old man and two 16-year-olds as they grazed sheep in their land. Medical teams found the dead body of one of the teenagers and took it to hospital, but his head was not found until the next day.
The dead body of the elderly man was also taken to hospital, but the dead body of his grandson, Abu Es’ayid, 16, was not found for one hour after the attack. During the attack 43 goats were also killed, the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported.
There are conflicting reports on the age of one of the two younger victims, with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights estimating the age at 17, while a medical representative at the time said one of the victims was 21.
An initial statement by the Israeli military said forces had identified a number of suspects attempting to fire an RPG toward an Israeli position in the Beit Hanoun area. Later, Brig.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg said in a statement that while the investigations into the incident have not yet concluded "we understand from a re-creation that we undertook that the three casualties were not involved in act of terror."
Eisenberg said one of the men had apparently picked up a weapon hidden by a terrorist cell, leading forces to believe their lives were in danger.
The Al-Mezan Center condemned Israel's "flagrant violations" of international law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which protects civilian populations in times of war.