Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Israeli war crimes against civilians in Rafah and Gaza

- In the first 10 days of May 2004, Israel's demolition of 131 residential buildings in Gaza left 1,100 Palestinians homeless.

- Five days later, continued Israeli demolition operations doubled the number of homeless since the beginning of May 2004 to 2,197 Palestinians.

- The total number of people to lose their homes in the Gaza Strip is 18,382 since the start of the Second Intifada in September 2000.

- The majority of the demolitions this month have taken place in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, where 12,600 people had already been made homeless by demolitions since the Intifada began.

- On 11 May 2004, Israel killed 15 Palestinians in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, including 4 children, and injured at least 200 others, including 35 children.

- On 13 May 2004, Israel killed 12 Palestinians in Rafah, including a child, and injured at least 20 others.

- By 15 May 2004, two days after the 13 May invasion began, a total of 14 Palestinian civilians had been killed and 30 injured in Rafah, with 80 homes destroyed, leaving 880 Palestinians homeless.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: "The extensive destruction of civilian property, carried out wantonly and unlawfully, and without military necessity constitutes a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention as defined in article 147, and a war crime as clarified in article 85.5 of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions."

Amnesty International: "More than 3,000 homes, vast areas of agricultural land and hundreds of other properties have been destroyed by the Israeli army and security forces in Israel and the Occupied Territories in the past three and a half years," and said that "some of these acts of destruction amount to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes."

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