During the past week, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip witnessed heavy Israeli shelling that resulted in the death and wounding of numerous people. Between 18 and 23 June, 12 Palestinians – including four civilians, one of whom a child – were killed. Additionally, 58 people were injured – including seven children and four women – and 35 houses and a school were damaged. During the same week, two children were killed and six people were wounded as a result of Palestinian rockets. This escalation in violence against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is an explicit violation of Israel and the Palestinian resistance obligation to protect civilians.
Ma’moun Muhammad ‘Abd-al-Nabi Al-Dam’
On Wednesday 20 June, the firing of a rocket by an Israeli aircraft resulted in the death of the 13-year-old boy, Ma’moun Muhammad ‘Abd-al-Nabi al-Dam’. His blind father, Muhammad Zuhdi ‘Abd-al-Nabi al-Dam’ (67 years old), suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure was completely dependent on him.
The incident took place in the area of Tal al-Hawa, west Gaza city. At around 9:00 am, Ma’moun left his house in al-Sha’f area, east Gaza city, and went with a neighbour to a land owned by his mother, Amna Farj Hassouna (55 years old). Later, Ma’moun’s parents joined him in their property and spent some time there. At around 2:30 pm, when Ma’moun was playing soccer, he threw the ball far away and told his parents he was going to chase it a nearby land. At that point, his parents heard a violent explosion and his mother saw dust and smoke coming from the same place where Ma’moun was. Amna started shouting her son’s name and headed towards the place where the smoke was coming from. She eventually found her son lying on the ground with no sign of life and realised that he was dead. Muhammad, Ma’moun’s father, who had been severely injured by shrapnel in his head, neck, abdomen, and hand, was bleeding. Muhammad started shouting and calling for Ma’moun to help him, however, he heard his wife crying, “Ma’moun died. The Israeli aircraft shelled us.” She put Ma’moun’s body in Muhammad’s arms, he started crying when touched his son’s mutilated body. About five minutes later, an ambulance arrived and took Muhammad and Ma’moun to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza city. Later, Amna was informed that her son Ma’moun died and that Muhammad her husband was undergoing surgery due to his critical condition. After spending two days in the Hospital, Muhammad asked to be discharged in order to attend his son’s wake and his burial. Muhammad had to seek further medical treatment and is still recovering from his injuries. He does not understand the reason why the Israeli aircraft shelled his land, which is located in an area where no activities related to the Palestinian resistance were carried out. (Affidavits No. 7496/2012 and 7497/2012)
‘Ali Mu’taz Al-Shawaf
During the same week, a rocket hit the veranda of the administration room of a playground, which is located east ‘Abasan al-Kabira town and about two kilometres from the eastern border with Israel. Shortly after the first rocket, a second one was fired towards a farm that is 100 meters far from the playground. These two rockets caused the death of a five-year-old boy, ‘Ali Mu’taz al-Shawaf, and also the wounding of five persons, including a two year-old child. The wounded were transferred to the European Gaza Hospital for treatment and ‘Ali was taken to Nasser Hospital west Khan Younis. Subsequently, the police arrived at the scene of the incident and opened an investigation. According to information collected by Al-Haq field researcher on the scene, the incident was caused by a Palestinian rocket. Furthermore, two people on a motorcycle approached the field researcher while he was documenting the case and, without introducing themselves, ordered him to leave the area. Later that day, a spokesperson of the Israeli army stated that the area was not targeted by Israeli aircrafts.