After an ‘extra-judicial killing gone wrong’ resulted in the deaths of three innocent children, one of them just 8 years old, on Monday in the Gaza Strip, an outcry has arisen from Palestinian political leaders, human rights groups, and the United Nations Middle East Peace Envoy, who implored Israel to stop extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinians.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofazrebuffed the criticism, saying that Ismail Haniyeh, the selected Palestinian Prime Minister, may be the next target for extra-judicial execution if the Hamas resistance movement dares to attack Israel.
"We will continue with this pace of focused preventations," Mofaz said, using an official euphemism for assassinations. According to Mofaz, "This policy is correct. It will continue." His statement comes despite the fact that extra-judicial assassinations are in direct violation of the Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.
The United Nations Middle East Peace Envoy, Alvaro de Soto, called on Israeli military authorities to stop extra-judicial killings of Palestinians.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, de Soto revealed that the United Nations is "on record as opposing extra-judicial killings, for reasons which include the danger they pose to innocent bystanders."
"Monday’s attack in Gaza against two suspected militants, in which at least three young people were reportedly killed and others injured, shows this danger all too tragically," de Soto added.
He also urged the Israeli authorities to show maximum restraint at this delicate time, expressing his condolences to the families of the victims.
UNICEF issued a statement condemning Israel’s killing of children, saying that in addition to the ‘extrajudicial killing gone wrong’ on Monday, in which three children were killed, two other children were also killed on Monday. Two brothers, aged 14, and 15, were killed when they were exposed to an unexploded device in a pond in Bereij refugee camp, south of Gaza city.
UNICEF pointed out that Monday’s tragic incidents bring the year’s death toll of Palestinian children to 11. The organization noted that yesterday’s one day toll of five children killed was very high at a time when overall child casualties were actually going down.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) also condemned the Israeli extra-judicial execution Monday that left 5 Palestinians dead and 12 civilian bystanders, including 6 children, wounded.
In a press release issued Tuesday, PCHR said that the latest attack comes following decisions taken by the Israeli political and military establishments to target Palestinian resistance fighters, in response to the launching of homemade rockets from the Occupied Palestinian Territories into Israel.
PCHR pointed out that the attack took place in a densely populated area of Gaza, reflecting the complete disregard by Israel for the lives of Palestinian citizens when carrying out such operations.
It asserted that such Israeli crimes only serve to increase tension and threaten the lives of Palestinian citizens.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights called upon the international community to meet its responsibilities and called particularly upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under the Geneva Convention to ensure protection for Palestinian citizens in the Palestinian territories occupied militarily and economically by Israel since 1967.