25th April 2014 | Palestinian Center for Human Rights | Gaza, Occupied Palestine
In an extra-judicial execution attempt, Israeli forces targeted 2 members of an armed group on a motorbike wounding them and another 13 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, in a densely-populated area in the northern Gaza Strip.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 16:45on Wednesday, 23 April 2014, an Israeli drone fired 2 missiles at a motorbike near Beit Lahia Sport Club in al-Manshiyah Street in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, which is a densely-populated area. As a result, the two persons on the motorbike were wounded by shrapnel throughout their bodies; one of them was in a critical condition. It was found out later that they are members of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – Martyr Nedal al-‘Amoudi Brigade. Due to the scattering shrapnel, 13 civilian bystanders, including 5 children, sustained shrapnel wounds throughout their bodies, and they were transferred to hospitals to receive medical treatment. Their wounds were described between minor and moderate. (PCHR keeps the names of the wounded)
The attack caused minor damages to 7 stores and around 10 houses in the vicinity of the targeted area. Moreover, Palestinian civilians living in the street, especially children and women, were terrified. It should be mentioned that this street is known as one of the most densely-populated areas in Beit Lahia.
Israeli forces declared later, via the Israeli media, that the Israeli Air Force targeted, as they described, a Palestinian cell that intended to launch rockets at the Israeli towns, while PCHR’s investigations confirmed that when they were targeted, they were not in a position to fire rockets.
PCHR strongly condemns this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian activists in disregard for their lives of civilians as the attack took place in a densely-populated area.
PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective action to stop Israeli crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to 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 Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions.