In the past week, Israeli aircrafts have fired missiles at several locations in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities claim that attacks such as these target members of the Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip. However, Palestinian civilians are also affected by the attacks as they regularly sustain injuries and in some instances are killed.
On 11 June, at approximately 10:20 pm, Israeli aircrafts fired two missiles at a motorcycle in the Beit Lahia Beach area in North Gaza. Muhammad Ahmad al-‘Aaour, 33, was riding on his motorcycle with his nephew, Ali Abdellatif al-‘Aaour, 10. They were on their way to buy dinner for family members who work at the beach when one of the missiles hit them and killed Muhammad immediately. Ali sustained serious injuries all over his body and was transferred to al-Shifa’ Hospital in Gaza city. On 14 June at approximately 4:30 pm, Ali was announced dead due to the injuries he sustained on 11 June.
It is essential to note that Muhammad was targeted in a coastal area near the beach, which is bustling with civilians at this time of the year. Israeli authorities claim that Muhammad was involved in planning attacks and firing rockets at Israeli locations from the Gaza Strip. Additionally, during this Israeli-led missile attack, a civilian taxi driver, Hamada Hussein Nasr, 32, was passing by and sustained serious injuries. Another civilian, Munther Mihrez al-Masari’i, 27, was riding in the same taxi and sustained minor injuries.
Two days later, on 14 June, between 11:00 pm and 11:45 pm, Israeli aircrafts fired six missiles at different locations in the centre and south of the Gaza Strip. These missiles targeted establishments belonging to al-Qassam Brigades, as well as other military training locations. One civilian, 28, was injured during these attacks while in the backyard of her house.
Munther Mihrez al-Masari’i – North Gaza
On 11 June at approximately 10:00 pm, Munther, 27, took a taxi from his house to meet his friends at the beach. While on the coastal road in Beit Lahia, he could see the crowded beach and a man, with a child sat behind him, driving his motorcycle alongside the taxi. At that moment, Munther heard a loud explosion that shattered the windows of the taxi and caused the airbag to inflate, injuring his face. The taxi driver fell against Munther, his face covered with blood. Munther felt severe pain in his head and ears and immediately stepped out of the car. He was suffering from slight amnesia, as at that point he thought that he had been in a car accident rather than hit by an Israeli rocket.
Outside of the car, Munther saw the aforementioned motorcycle on fire. The man who had been driving it was now on the ground and the upper part of his body was cut into pieces. Munther also saw that the child who had been on the motorcycle was now lying on the ground soaked in blood. Bystanders and police officers gathered around the scene. An ambulance arrived and transferred the child, the man on the motorcycle, and the taxi driver to hospital. Afterwards, Munther felt dizzy and realised that his head was bleeding so he took a taxi to Kamal ‘Udwan Hospital nearby. He was released an hour later as his injury was minor. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 9684/2014)
As the Occupying Power, Israel is under a legal obligation to take all necessary measures to protect the civilian population of the occupied territory. According to the rules of International humanitarian law, the Israeli military must at all times distinguish between civilian and military targets. In addition, Israel must adhere to the principle of proportionality, which states that any attack that may be expected to cause loss of civilian life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. In the above-mentioned case, the location where Muhammad and Ali were targeted was clearly not a military training area but was rather a recreational coastal area filled with many civilians. As such, Al-Haq calls upon the Israeli authorities to immediately bring an end to the practice of indiscriminate attacks in the Gaza Strip and to investigate and punish these acts in accordance with the standards set by international law.