Geneva - In a primary report submitted to UN special rapporteurs and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has documented dozens of cases of field executions carried out by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip. The human rights group requested an immediate investigation into these crimes, calling for the perpetrators to be held accountable, and for justice for all victims.
Euro-Med Monitor submitted the initial file to Maurice Tydball Benz, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial or arbitrary executions; Francesca Albanese, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967; Navanethem Pillay, head of the Investigative Committee on the Occupied Palestinian Territory; and Karim Khan, ICC Prosecutor.
The rights organisation called on the aforementioned parties to take a firm position on the widespread killing operations carried out by Israeli forces targeting Palestinian civilians, especially the field executions and physical liquidations in the Gaza Strip. In addition, Euro-Med Monitor demanded the establishment of an international legal team, pressure to secure its entry into the Gaza Strip, and the start of an inquiry into these and other instances of Palestinian civilians being killed by Israeli forces.
The Geneva-based group urged the parties to take serious action within the international community in order to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, ensure a cessation of the ongoing unjustifiable killing, open a criminal investigation into all of the Israeli military’s reported atrocities, and achieve accountability and justice for every Palestinian victim and survivor.
Nearly 10 days after the Israeli army began its ground attack in the Gaza Strip on 27 October, the Israeli army carried out dozens of executions and direct physical liquidations against civilians as part of its all-out military campaign that started on 7 October in retaliation for the armed attack that Palestinian factions carried out in Israeli settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip.
According to Euro-Med Monitor estimates, more than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the Israeli genocide campaign in the Gaza Strip, a number that includes those who remain trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings and are now presumed dead. Women and children make up 70% of the recorded victims. Thus, Palestinian deaths constitute the highest rate of civilian casualties worldwide in the 21st century.
The Israeli forces’ extrajudicial execution crimes and liquidations during their ground incursion into the Gaza Strip were examined by the Euro-Med Monitor in the legal file. These crimes and liquidations include the following:
22 December 2023: Six civilians from a single family were executed when Israeli forces raided their home in Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood and opened fire on them for no reason. The victims were identified as Raed Abd Rabbo Al-Khalidi, Amjad Abd Rabbo Al-Khalidi, Ahmed Faisal Al-Khalidi, Hamid Muhammad Al-Khalidi, Moamen Raed Al-Khalidi, and Muhammad Zuhair Al-Khalidi. Four other people were injured, including a woman and her son.
21 December 2023: The elderly Dr Akram Abu Hasira and his wife were shot and left to bleed to death by Israeli forces on Thursday 21 December, after being forcibly evacuated from their home on Yarmouk Street in Gaza City. The soldiers then set fire to their home. Their son, Dr Mahmoud Abu Hasira, reported that after the Israeli forces withdrew from the area, their family managed to bury the couple’s bodies.
10 December 2023: Ahmed Suleiman Hassan Muhammad Abdel-Al, a 60-year-old mentally ill man, was shot and killed in his Jabalia refugee camp home on 13 December. His killing occurred after Israeli soldiers stormed the camp and Abdel-Al’s home after a days-long siege on the Yemeni hospital.
10 December 2023: Nine civilians, including children, were executed inside the Shadia Abu Ghazaleh shelter school in Jabalia, according to testimony submitted to Euro-Med. The elderly Youssef Khalil told Euro-Med Monitor that two Israeli soldiers opened fire on his family members in a classroom as Israeli forces stormed the school. Khalil stated that after his family members were killed, he and others were detained by Israeli forces for several days, during which he was subjected to abuse and torture before eventually being freed. Upon his release, Khalil returned to the school a week after the Israeli forces left the area, where he discovered his family members’ bodies had all but decomposed. Among the victims were a woman, her husband, and several of their children. Video footage shot at the school between 13 and 15 December reveals damaged classrooms; two or more bodies on the ground; and numerous other bodies, including a woman; as well as a blood-soaked mattress; bullet holes in the floor; and bloodstains.
10 December 2023: Israeli forces executed the elderly Nawaf Muhammad Musa Al-Zaanin during the evacuation of the Awni Al-Harthani School in the Beit Lahia project in northern Gaza. The Beit Hanoun resident had been displaced with his family several times before Israeli forces stormed the school where they were taking refuge; Al-Zaanin was shot in the head.
10 December 2023: Israeli forces executed Munir Fadl Ali Al-Najjar, 41, after opening fire at him while he was in his house along with his 74-year-old mother in the Jabalia camp. He was shot in the neck and left bleeding to death next to his mother. Al-Najjar was a civilian who had suffered from a foot injury since childhood. The Israeli forces did not allow his brother Sami, who works for a United Nations agency, to move his brother’s body from the room, and instead subjected him to an interrogation inside the family’s house, which was turned into a military point to interrogate civilians.
8 December 2023: Sixty-two-year-old Abdel Nasser Khader Haboub was also killed by an artillery shell fired at him by Israeli forces shortly after his release from a two-day detention. The incident also claimed the life of Palestine University’s College of Information Technology Dean Dr Ahmed Hamdi Abu Absa, 38. An eyewitness told Euro-Med Monitor that Haboub and his family took refuge in the Holy Family School after an Israeli bombing targeted a house in which they had taken refuge—after initially fleeing their home due to the heavy Israeli heavy bombing of Gaza City. The day after their arrival at the school, on 8 December, Israeli forces stormed the building and arrested all the men and some women; they then stripped the men and took them to an unknown destination. After midnight on 10 December, the forces released a group of detainees including multiple elderly people, then targeted them just minutes later with a tank shell and a quadcopter flying over their heads, leading to the deaths of Haboub and Abu Absa.
11 November 2023: Israeli army forces executed Dr Muhammad Eid Shabir, 77, former president of the Islamic University in Gaza, along with his wife, Rihab Muhammad Shabir, 74. His daughter confirmed that Israeli planes bombed her aunt’s house on Abu Hasira Street in Gaza, killing five civilians, while 15 others survived the attack. The majority of victims were women and children, including her parents, sister-in-law Najat Ayoub Al-Helu, and nephew Muhammad Malik Shabir. “They came out alive, fleeing into the street, where my mother sent a distress message, and I heard my father’s voice calling for one of his grandchildren,” the daughter told Euro-Med Monitor. “After more than 24 hours, the survivors were forced to leave the area by the army and walk to Al-Shifa Hospital—[a group] including some wounded and elderly people—leaving the dead bodies under the rubble. On the way, those who went out saw my brother’s wife and nephew killed in the street. After the start of the truce on 25 November, my parents were found dead in the street on the opposite road to Shifa after they had been shot by an army sniper.”
On 10 November 2023: Israeli forces killed Bashir Hajji, 71, of Gaza City’s Zaytoun neighbourhood. Hajji was shot by Israeli forces while attempting to cross Salah al-Din, the Strip’s main road. His murder occurred shortly after the Israeli army published a picture showing one of its soldiers talking to Hajji; in the picture, the soldier is pretending to be protecting and assisting Palestinian civilians during their displacement.
All of these cases, emphasised Euro-Med Monitor, are merely examples of the numerous killings and field executions that have occurred in areas where Israeli land incursions are taking place. Euro-Med Monitor crews continue to document and prepare comprehensive files on the circumstances of the arbitrary, extrajudicial, and unnecessary killing operations by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stressed that these Israeli executions violate international standards and the right to life stipulated in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, plus Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulates that, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”
Euro-Med Monitor reiterated that the UN special rapporteurs and the ICC Prosecutor must launch a swift investigation into the aforementioned violations, as well as other war crimes that Israel has committed against civilians in the Gaza Strip, and to hold those responsible for issuing and carrying out the illegal orders accountable.