Israeli forces knock down 16 houses and 21 stores in Rafah leaving 168 homeless and 46 injured

April 15, 2001

In an operation similar to that which bulldozed at least 31 Palestinian houses in Al Gharbi refugee camp, Khan Yunis on April 11, Israeli forces yesterday attacked Palestinian houses near the southern entrance to Saladin Street in Rafah, Gaza. According to LAW's documentation, on Saturday 14 April Israeli tanks and bulldozers stormed Saladin Street south and destroyed several Palestinian homes and stores as well as the offices of the Palestinian military intelligence services. Israeli tanks opened fire at Palestinians during the attack injuring 46 people, including 36 shrapnel wounds, 9 gunfire wounds and one teargas inhalation. Some received injuries from ammunition fired from a distance of one kilometer. The attack destroyed 16 Palestinian homes belonging to the Kishta, Al Ikir and Al Shaíir families, rendering another 168 Gazans homeless. 21 stores were completely destroyed and 6 were partially destroyed. They belonged to the following Palestinian families: Al Shaíir, Kishta, Abu Hamza, Dawood, Abu Nahil and Abed Al Aal. LAW Society strongly condemns the war crimes of the Israeli forces against Palestinian people. LAW also expresses its deep regret at the international communityís silence towards such crimes. LAW calls on the Security Council to convene for an urgent discussion about the 7 month-old Israeli onslaught against Palestinians. The Security Council must act immediately to send international protection for the Palestinian people.

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LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), FÈdÈration Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Network.

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