The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue their wide-scale aggression on the Gaza Strip for the second consecutive day as it began at dawn on Tuesday, 09 May 2023, when 3 commanders of Al-Quds Brigades (AQB), the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), were assassinated by bombing their houses over their families and neighbors’ heads. During the aggression, which continues up to the preparation of this report, IOF conducted extensive airstrikes and artillery shelling against residential houses, agricultural lands, sites of Palestinian armed groups, and others. As a result, so far 25 Palestinians, including 13 civilians, 6 children and 4 women, have been killed, and 63 others, including 15 children and 15 women, have been wounded. These attacks on civilian areas reflect Israel’s blatant disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians and non-observation of the principle of distinction and proportionality binding on IOF under international law. The bombing has also caused complete and partial destruction to dozens of housing units, rendering dozens of families homeless, as PCHR’s fieldworkers are still documenting the destruction. Meanwhile, PCHR is still investigating certain incidents that inflicted losses among civilians and property. PCHR’s preliminary investigations indicate casualties fell after homemade rockets had fallen in three incidents, during which 3 civilians, including 2 children, were killed and 26 others were wounded, including 7 children and 5 women.
The following are the most significant developments;
On 09 May 2023, IOF launched an aggression on the Gaza Strip, conducted extensive air raids and bombed a vehicle and 4 apartments on the heads of their residents. As a result, 15 Palestinians, including 4 children and 4 women, were killed, and 20 others, including 4 children and 4 women, were wounded. IOF warplanes fired 2 missiles at 2 floors of a 6-storey residential building in al-Rimal neighborhood in central Gaza City, resulting in the killing of 6 Palestinians, including a woman and 2 children, and injury of 6 others, including 2 women. Those killed were identified as Jamal Saber Mohammed Khaswan (52), a dentist and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Wafaa Charity Association; his wife, Mervat Saleh Mohammed Khaswan (44); and their son Yousef (19), a student at the Faculty of Dentistry. All of them were civilians and lived on the 6th floor. And those killed on the 5th floor were identified as Tareq Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Izz al-Deen (51), a commander at al-Quds Brigades; and his two children ‘Ali (9) and Mayar (7).
Around the same time, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at family house in eastern Gaza City. As a result, five, including 2 women and 2 girls, were killed, and 6 others, including 3 children and 2 women, were injured. Those killed were identified as Khalil Khaled al-Behtaini (44), a commander at al-Quds Brigades; his wife Laila Majdi Mostafa al-Behtaini (42); his 4-year-old daughter Hajar; a 19-yeat-old girl namely Dania ‘Alaa ‘Ataa ‘Adas and her sister Eman (17), who succumbed to her injuries at around 10:00, noting that Dania and Eman lived adjacent to the targeted building.
Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes targeted at a 1-storey house in Al-Jeneina neighborhood in Rafah. As a result, Jihad Shaker Diab ‘AbdulHafez/Al-Ghanam, Secretary of al-Quds Brigades’ Military Council who was an amputee, and his wife Wafaa Nimr Tawfiq Al-Ghanam (62) were killed, and 6 others sustained various wounds, including a child and the targeted commander’s son. More details are available in PCHR’s press release.
In the same evening, Wael Muhammad Sabri al-Agha (34), and Saed Jawad ‘Abd Farwana (28), members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed, and two other Palestinians were injured in an Israeli airstrike on a civilian car in al-Qarara, northeast of Khan Yunis.
On 10 May 2023, the bombing continued against agricultural lands, sites of Palestinian armed groups, and houses. As a result, 7 Palestinians were killed, including 3 civilians: 2 were children. PCHR is still investigating the nature of the missile that killed them and injured 36 others, including 8 women and 10 children.
Muhammad Yousef Abu Ta’ima (23) and ‘Alaa Maher Abu Ta’ima (28), who were members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed in an airstrike that targeted them in an agricultural field in ‘Abasan al-Kabira, east of Khan Yunis.
Meanwhile, Ayman Karam Saidam (26) and ‘Alam Al-Dein Sameer ‘Abdul-‘Aziz (23), who were members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed, and 2 others were wounded as a result of an Israeli airstrike on an agricultural land in Al-Shokah village, east of Rafah. In addition, 8 Palestinians, including 3 children and 3 women, were wounded in an airstrike on an agricultural land near residential houses in Al-Salam neighborhood, south of Rafah.
Also, Ahmed Mohammed al-Shebaki (50) was killed and his wife Yusra Othman al-Shebaki (50) was seriously injured after a missile fell on their house in Qleibo area in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.
Moreover, Yazan Jawdat ‘Eliyan (16) and Layan Belal Mohammed Modawikh (8) were killed and 12 others, including 2 children and 2 women, were injured after a missile fell on a 5-storey house on al-Sahaba Street in Gaza City. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.
In addition, 13 Palestinians were injured, including 2 women and 5 children; one seriously injured, after a missile fell on a house in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.
Meanwhile, IOF warplanes launched at least 2 missiles at a 3-storey house in al-Qarara area, northeast of Khan Yunis. As a result, the house was destroyed and 4 families of 20, including children and women, were displaced. It should be noted that one of the area residents received a call to evacuate the nearby houses.
Moreover, IOF warplanes launched 2 missiles at a 3-storey house of 3 residential apartments in Beit Lahia, completely destroying it and rendering 4 families of 16, including 4 women and 8 children, homeless. It is worth noting that the house’s owner received a call from IOF only 40 minutes before targeting the house telling him to evacuate.
On 11 May 2023, 3 Palestinians, including 2 brothers; one of them a commander of Al-Quds Brigades, were killed and 7 other civilians, including a girl and 3 women; one was pregnant, were injured after IOF warplanes fired 3 missiles at a residential apartment on the 5th floor of a building in Hamad Residential Compound, west of Khan Yunis. Those killed were identified as: ‘Ali Hasan Ghali (50), member of al-Quds Brigades’ Military Council and head of the rocket launching unit; his brother Mahmoud (23); and their relative Mahmoud Waleed Mohammed ‘Abdul Jawaad (26). All of them were in the targeted apartment, while the other injuries were reported in nearby apartments. IOF announced that IOF and Shin Bet (Shabak) killed in a joint targeted operation the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket launching force in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, 8 Palestinians, including a woman, was killed, and 35 others, including 6 children, were injured, while dozens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in IOF’s attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:
On 04 May 2023, IOF killed 3 members of Palestinian armed groups and wounded 3 civilians in an extrajudicial execution crime committed by IOF during their incursion into Nablus’s Old City. (Details available in PCHR’s press release).
On the same day, Eman Ziyad ‘Odah (26) was shot dead by IOF stationed in central Huwara village, southeast of Nablus, claiming that she stabbed an Israeli soldier, as IOF declared.
On 06 May 2023, two members of Palestinian armed groups namely Hamza Jamil Kharyoush (23) and Samer Salah Shaf’y (20) were killed and another Palestinian was injured while 2 others were arrested after one of them was injured during IOF’s incursion into Tulkarm refugee camp, where they cordoned off a house and clashed with Palestinian armed group members who were fortified inside the house.
On 10 May 2023, IOF killed 2 members of Palestinian armed groups namely Ahmed Jamal ‘Assaf (19), from Qabatiya village, and Rani Waleed Qatanat (24), from Jenin refugee camp, and wounded 2 other Palestinians; one seriously injured, during armed clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Qabatiya village in Jenin. Before withdrawing, IOF arrested a Palestinian and confiscated a vehicle as the two Palestinians mentioned above were killed near it.
Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF’s incursion into the Palestinian cities and villages, or IOF’s suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians. Twenty Palestinians, including 5 children, were injured in stone-throwing clashes with IOF during the latter’s incursion into several villages in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. Also, 12 Palestinians, including a child, were injured in Kafr Qaddum weakly peaceful protest, east of Qalqilya. Additionally, 2 Palestinians were injured near the annexation wall in Qalqilya when they were on they way to work in Israel.
So far in 2023, IOF attacks and aggression have killed 136 Palestinians, including 69 civilians; 24 of them were children, and 6 women, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including 2 children, 7 killed by settlers, and two died in Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, 274 Palestinians, including 85 children, 21 women and 12 journalists, were injured.
Land Razing, Demolitions, and Notices
IOF demolished 6 houses and 6 facilities, including a school that was demolished twice, while Israeli settlers built a settlement road on Palestinian lands in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
Details are as follows:
On 04 May 2023, IOF demolished a 70-sqm restaurant, which is a building built of steel, aluminum and wood in Al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
On 07 May 2023, IOF demolished al-Tahadi Primary School (5) in Jeb al-Deeb village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C. Dozens of villagers tried to confront the demolition, but IOF attacked them and heavily fired live and rubber-coated bullets and teargas canisters at them, wounding 5 of them. The villagers later re-built the school, but IOF- re-demolished it for the 2nd time on 10 May 2023. It is worth noting that the 170-sqm school serving 60 students is funded by the European Union (EU), and it included 5 classrooms, a tent, a number of bathrooms, a playground, and a container used as a kitchen.
On the same day, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his 82-sqm house in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to an Israeli municipal decision issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
Also, IOF demolished two 140-sqm houses in Al-Auja village in Jericho and razed a 150-sqm cement slab in al-Jiftlik village, north of Jericho.
On 08 May 2023, IOF notified to cease construction works in a concrete slab and 2 houses in Ma’een village in Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.
On 09 May 2023, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his under-construction house of 50 sqms in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to an Israeli Municipal’s decision issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
On the same day, Israeli settlers, from “Havat Yair” settlement that is established on Deir Istiya village’s lands in western Salfit, built a new 700-meter-long settlement road leading to “Al-Majur” and “Nuwaitif” water springs on Palestinians’ lands in Qarawat Bani Hassan village.
On 10 May 2023, IOF demolished an animal barrack in Jabel Mukaber village and two 100-sqm shops in Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
On the same day, IOF demolished a room built of bricks and used as a commercial facility and a 120-meter-long wall in eastern Yatta in Hebron.
Also, IOF demolished a floor housing two 230-sqm apartments belonging to 2 brothers in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem, rendering 9 persons, including 2 women and 5 children, homeless.
Since the beginning of 2023, IOF have made 69 families homeless, a total of 439 persons, including 86 women and 192 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 76 houses; 18 were forcibly self-demolished by their owners and 8 were demolished on grounds of collective punishment. IOF also demolished 70 other civilian objects, razed other property, and delivered dozens of notices of demolition and cease-construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Settler-attacks and Retaliatory Acts
Three Palestinians were injured; 2 of them with live bullets, in settlers’ attacks in the West Bank.
Details are as follows:
On 05 May 2023, Israeli settlers broke into Maghayir al-‘Abeed area in eastern Yatta in Hebron, where they made their sheep step on the agricultural crops. Later, an Israeli force arrived and detained a Palestinian whom the settlers were attempting to assault, while the settlers later left the area.
On 10 May 2023, 3 Palestinians were injured; 2 of them sustained live bullet injuries and the third sustained bruises in an attack carried out by at least 30 settlers on Deir Dibwan village, east of Ramallah.
Since the beginning of the year, settlers have conducted at least 193 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property. As a result, 7 Palestinians were killed, and dozens of others were injured; most of them after being beaten and thrown with stones. Also, dozens of houses, vehicles and civilian facilities were set ablaze.
IOF Incursions and Arrests
IOF carried out 204 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, at least 108 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 children and a writer. In the Gaza Strip, on 08 May 2023, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern al-Maghazi refugee camp.
So far in 2023, IOF have conducted 3,703 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2215 Palestinians were arrested, including 25 women and 265 children. Also, IOF arrested 34 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip; 12 were fishermen and 19 were trying to infiltrate into Israel, and 3 travellers at Erez Crossing. IOF also conducted 12 incursions.
Israeli Closure and Restrictions on Freedom of Movement and Collective Punishment Policy
Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 16-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.
At dawn on 09 May 2023, IOF closed Gaza crossings coinciding with its military offensive against various targets, including civilian objects. The closure of crossings threatens hundreds of patients’ lives and impairs the already frail health system due to the Israeli-imposed closure on Gaza Strip for 16 years. (Details available at PCHR’s press release).
In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 121 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, where they arrested 7 Palestinians.
This week, IOF closed the military checkpoints several times in occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem and blocked traffic.
So far in 2023, IOF have established 2204 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 116 Palestinians at those checkpoints.