Tuesday, March 1, 2011

IOF Kills Palestinian Civilian Collecting Scrap in North Gaza District. Al Mezan Condemns the Attack, Demands Criminal Investigation and Calls for International Protection for Civilians


The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue to enforce a no-go 'security buffer zone' inside the Gaza Strip in part by opening fire on an almost daily basis on Palestinians near the Gaza Strip's eastern and northern borders with Israel. As a result of these attacks, civilians are regularly killed or injured. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the IOF attacks and the excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians. Al Mezan demands full criminal investigations into such attacks and calls for the full protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).      
According to Al Mezan's field investigations, at approximately 10am on Monday 28 February 2011, the IOF opened fire at a group of Palestinian civilians as they were collecting scrap material and rubble from destroyed structures near the border fence between Gaza and Israel. The group was about 300 meters from the border fence west of Buret Abu Samra area north of Beit Lahiya, in the North Gaza district when the IOF fired at them. As a result, Omar Arafa Abdel Lateef Ma'rouf, 20, was severely injured.
At approximately 11am on the same day, three Israeli tanks moved under sporadic fire from IOF towards the same area and took Ma'rouf to Israel. Later that day, at around  2pm, the IOF gave Ma'rouf's dead body to the Palestinian Liaison Office (CLO), located at the Palestinians side of Erez crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip. The dead body was then admitted to Shifa Hospital in Gaza city.
Al Mezan strongly condemns the continued and systematic attacks by the IOF against Palestinian civilians, particularly farmers who work in their fields near the borders. These attacks and the IOF's conduct in the area are in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (of 1949).
Al Mezan demands the Israeli authorities to initiate criminal investigations into the unlawful killings of Palestinian civilians. It calls on the international community to promptly intervene to provide protection for Palestinian civilians in the oPt. Al Mezan calls on the international community to intervene to stop the IOF enforcing the security buffer zone inside the Gaza Strip in this violent manner. The means and methods employed by Israel to enforce it are lethal and a grave violation of international law. IOF soldiers and commanders who carry out, or order, such attacks must be held accountable for their conduct.


Palestinian worker shot and killed in northern Gaza

A 2005 photo of Israeli construction crews building the Gaza border wall
before the military began enforcing a 300 meter to 1.5 kilometer "no-go
zone beside the wall. [MaanImages/Wesam Saleh]


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian worker in Gaza on Monday, along the northern border of the coastal enclave, Palestinian medical sources told AFP.

Medics told Ma'an that the man's body was evacuated shortly after noon.


Man Killed By Israeli Army in Gaza

Tuesday March 01, 2011 12:47 by David Steele - IMEMC & Agencies
The Israeli army killed a man who entered the 300m 'buffer zone' in Gaza on Monday.
FIle - AFP Photo
FIle - AFP Photo
The army claim that troops opened fire aiming for the lower torso of the man. He later died from his injuries. It is unclear whether a warning was given.

Israel enforces a 300m 'buffer zone' along the Gaza border, which is surrounded by a large wall. Palestinians who enter the 'buffer zone' risk being shot. Many Palestinians claim that they are shot at when over 500 meters away from the border. The zone exists on Palestinian land – much of it confiscated from locals.