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27 February 2008: B'Tselem condemns rocket fire at Israel

Today Palestinian organizations fired dozens of rockets at the western Negev and the southern coastal plain of Israel. The rocket fire killed a student at Sapir College, and wounded others. According to media reports, at least one rocket landed near Barzilai Hospital, in Ashkelon.

B'Tselem severely condemns the rocket fire. The Palestinian organizations responsible for firing the rockets openly declare that they intend to attack, among others, Israeli civilians. Sapir College and Barzilai Hospital are clearly civilian objects. Attacks aimed at civilians are immoral and illegal, and the intentional killing of civilians is a grave breach under the Fourth Geneva Convention, a war crime, and cannot be justified, whatever the circumstances.

The Palestinian government must do everything it can to stop the rocket fire and the Palestinian organizations must cease their attacks aimed at civilians. In refraining from taking action to stop the firing, and especially given its active participation in these attacks, the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip gravely breaches international law and commits war crimes.