Updates

Use of firearms

B'Tselem's annual report, published today (5 Feb.), surveys a wide range of Israeli human rights violations in the OPT in 2008, until Operation Cast Lead. As house demolition and lack of law enforcement on violent settlers continued, Israel largely refrained from holding members of the security forces accountable for their actions.

February 5

25 members of the a-Shteiwi family, 12 of them children, were besieged in their home with shelling going on outside for over a week. When they were evacuated, the army demolished the house.

February 2

On 12 Jan. '09, soldiers called residents of the Khuza'a neighborhood, in the Gaza Strip, to leave their homes. When Rawhiya a-Najar stepped out of her house waving a white flag, soldiers shot her and then a young woman who tried to help her. A-Najar remained on the ground and bled to death.

February 1

According to testimonies given to B'Tselem, on 3 January, soldiers called to 'Atiya a-Samuni to come out of his house, in a-Zeitun, Gaza City. When he approached the door, soldiers opened fire, killing him. The soldiers continued firing, wounding a number of relatives, among them an infant who died from his wounds.

January 19

Gaza: Yesterday 95 bodies were dug up from the ruins. As of today, at least 1,300 killed, of them at least 410 children and 104 women. Over 5,320 injured, of them over 350 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 10 soldiers killed. Over 84 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 113 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition and 20 Moderately or severely injured.

January 19

Gaza: at least 1,205 killed, of them at least 410 children and 100 women. Over 5,320 injured, of them over 350 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 10 soldiers killed. Over 84 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 113 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition and 20 Moderately or severely injured.

January 18

A farmer from the Huza'ah village was killed this morning (18 Jan.) by Israeli gunfire while working his land, some 400 meters from the Israeli border. His brother. A witness told B'Tselem that in spite of the ceasefire, the soldiers opened fire without warning.

January 18

On 11 January, tanks shelled the Hamuda family home in Gaza City, killing a toddler and wounding his mother and brother. The father's testimony indicates that during the long wait for the shelling to stop and rescue teams to arrive, the brother died of his wounds.

January 18

Continuation of the fighting will bring more death and destruction. Innocent civilians, among them large numbers of children, will be killed and wounded. According to media reports, both sides have already agreed to the principle of a ceasefire. Under these circumstances, they must immediately stop the fighting.

January 15

Gaza: at least 1,033 killed, of them at least 335 children and 98 women. Over 4,850 injured, of them over 450 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 10 soldiers killed. Over 82 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 77 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition.

January 15

In a press conference held today in Jerusalem, 9 Israeli human rights organizations called on the government and army to respect the laws of war and stop disproportionate harm to civilians. According to media reports and testimonies of Gazans, military forces are wantonly using lethal force, thus far killing hundreds of civilians and wreaking damage to infrastructure.

January 14

On 7 Jan., Lu'ai Subuh, 10 years old, walked home with some family members and friends to bring essential items to the school in which his family was sheltering. As he waited in the street with his friends, the three were hit by a bombing. One of the children died and Lu'ai lost his eyesight.

January 14

Gaza: at least 970 killed, of them at least 300 children and 76 women. Over 4,400 injured, of them over 450 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 10 soldiers killed. Over 82 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 71 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition.

January 14

On 6 Jan., the Dib family sat in their trying to bake bread, as the bakeries had run out. A shell struck their home, which is next to UNRWA's al-Fakhura school, killing nine members of the family.

January 13

According to a report to B'Tselem from a Palestinian who is under siege with his family in the southeastern part of the Gaza Strip, a fifty-year-old woman from his family was shot when she exited the house while waving a white flag.

January 13

On 4 Jan., the Israeli army shelled a home in Beit Lahiya. Ghadah Abu Halima told B'Tselem that the house went up in flames and five of its occupants burned to death, four of them children. As the wounded survivors made their way to hospital, soldiers fired at them.

January 13

Various reports indicate that the Israeli army is using phosphorous in the Gaza Strip. This weapon causes severe burns and is capable of igniting fires. Its use in a crowded area such as the Gaza Strip is illegal.

January 12

Gaza: at least 900 killed, of them at least 270 children and 95 women. Over 4,200 injured, of them over 400 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 7 soldiers killed. Over 82 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 61 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition.

January 12

On the morning of the first day of Israeli bombing of Gaza, 'Abd a-Shaf'i was arrested by police on suspicion of selling cigarettes on the street. A short while later, Israel bombed the police station, killing a-Shaf'i.

January 12

The 'Arafat family fled their home under bombing and took shelter with relatives. The next day, that house was bombed and caught fire, as the family escaped to an UNWRA school.

January 11