Gaza, 4 Jumadil Awal 1437/12 Februari 2016 (MINA) – Four Palestinian human rights organizations delivered a communication pursuant to the International Criminal Court over Israeli war crimes in Rafah between 1 and 4 August 2014.
The organizations include Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Al-Haq, Aldameer, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, The Palestinian Information Center (PIC) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
In their statement, the organizations said that they provided evidence of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Rafah between 1 and 4 August 2014 following the invocation of the controversial Hannibal Directive by the Israeli military forces.
Unlawful attacks against the Palestinian civilian population and their infrastructure and property ensued, killing 255 Palestinians, including 212 civilians.
The Hannibal Directive – which is ostensibly intended to thwart the abduction of an abducted Israeli soldier – was invoked in Rafah following the reported capture of Israeli 2nd Lt.
Hadar Goldin. It transpired, however, that the soldier had died. Israel’s attacks on Rafah continued until 4 August, despite the confirmation that the reportedly captured soldier had died in the late evening of 2 August, according to the statement.
During the four days in Rafah, the Israeli occupying forces unleashed intensive artillery, tank, and aerial attacks on the civilian population of Rafah. Inhabited houses were attacked without warning at night.
Documentation provided by the submitting organizations further reveals that 119 of those killed died in their homes. Two 1000lb bombs were dropped on a civilian building, killing 16 people in the nearby street. Civilians in the street were picked off by drones; alongside the dead, there was a proliferation of horrific injuries, including severed limbs.
Attacks on ambulances, hospitals, and vehicles led to the evacuation of Rafah’s principal hospital. An attack on an UNRWA school-turned-shelter for displaced people killed 14 people.
Through their second communication, the submitting organizations seek to assist the Prosecutor in establishing that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that high-ranking Israeli military and civilian officials committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during Operation Protective Edge in Rafah between 1 and 4 August 2014. (T/P011/R07)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)