July 14, 2014
Date: 13 July 2014
Gaza Diaries: 2
In two separate attacks, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired missiles directly at children as they were on their way to go grocery shopping in the local shops in Gaza City and Jabalia.
At approximately 12:15 pm on Wednesday, 9 July 2014, two children left their house and walked on An-Nazaz Street in the Sheja’iya neighborhood, east of Gaza City. Amir Areef, 12, and his brother, Mohammed Areef, 10, were killed when an IOF drone fired a missile directly at them. They never reached the grocery store.
The children’s mother, Najiya, 33, informed Al Mezan that her two children wanted to buy yoghurt and a few things for them from the grocery nearby. About ten minute after they left the house, she said, ‘I heard an awful explosion, and by the time I reached the place they had been moved to hospital, but I knew it was them”. She said that the area was calm and nothing was going on, so she allowed them to go and return quickly. Abdalla, 21, who lives in the house opposite to the grocery shop informed Al Mezan that he hurried outside of his house once he heard the explosion and helped carry the bodies of the children to hospital. He stressed that the area was calm and nothing could have justified the attack on the two children.heard
In a separate incident at approximately 6:35pm on Tuesday, 8 July, an IOF drone fired a missile at three children as they were on their way to the local grocery store near their house in Jabalia in the North Gaza district. One child was killed on the spot. He has been identified as Ahmad Na’el Mahdi, 16.Two were moderately injured; both of whom are 15.
Mahdi’s father informed Al Mezan that his child, Ahmad, asked his mother for a dish called, ‘hummus fetta, for the Ramadan breakfast (iftar) meal. Ahmad said he would buy the ingredients, hummus and bread. The attack took place as Ahmed and his friends were walking to the grocery store, passing a small empty field near the house.
Iyad Abu Taqiya, 42, who words as a guard in a building next to the attack scene, informed Al Mezan that he was surprised by the sound of an explosion and rushed out of the building to see three children laid on the ground and covered by blood. “It was a shock because the attack happened so suddenly, as nothing had happened in the area and it was calm before it,” he informed Al Mezan in his testimony.
Ibrahim An-Najjar is 15 and lives in a house in Jabalia in the north of the Gaza Strip. IOF drones fired three missiles at his house starting at 5am today, 13 July. The missiles were supposed to serve as a ‘warning’ to the family to evacuate the house. As Ibrahim was leaving his house after the second missile, a third was fired and killed him immediately.
These attacks were part of the 34 children killed in IOF attacks on the Gaza Strip since the start of Operation Protective Edge. There were no warnings. There was no time to evacuate. The attacks were directed on children who were visible at the time. The attacks were directly on children walking to shops; children who were clearly not taking part in any hostilities.
Attacks on civilians and/or civilian targets constitute grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and amount to war crimes. Al Mezan therefore condemns the IOF’s unlawful attacks, which continue to claim civilian lives and properties in the Gaza Strip. The international community is called upon to intervene urgently and protect civilians, including children, and ensure accountability for those who attacked the civilian population and provide redress for the victims and their families in accordance with international law.