Israel military 'executes' 13 children around Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital, rights group says

Israel military 'executes' 13 children around Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital, rights group says
Euro-Med Monitor has said that Israel's killing of 13 children near Al-Shifa hospital is part of the 'genocide' unleashed on Gaza over the past 6 months.
2 min read
28 March, 2024
Israeli forces began their raid of Gaza City's Al-Shifa Hospital some 10 days ago [Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu/Getty-27 March 2024]

The Israeli military "executed" 13 children by "direct shooting" over a week in and around Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital, a rights group said on Wednesday.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor declared it a war crime and crime against humanity, further describing it as "part of the genocide that the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip have been experiencing for the past six months".

The Israeli army has conducted "systematic and horrifying" military operations in and near the Gaza City hospital, including extrajudicial executions and the deliberate killing of civilians, Euro-Med Monitor added.

The organisation reported that its field team received "identical testimonies" concerning the killings and executions of Palestinian children aged four to 16.

It added: "Some of the fatal shootings occurred during an Israeli army siege while the victims' families were inside their homes; others occurred when the victims attempted to escape via routes that the Israeli army had designated as 'safe' after forcibly evacuating them from their homes and places of residence."

Islam Ali Salouha, who lives near Al-Shifa, said Israeli forces killed his nine-year-old son Ali and six-year-old son Saeed Muhammad Sheikha, according to Euro-Med Monitor.

Salouha said this happened in front of their families and other locals, and that the Israeli forces specifically targeted the children with live rounds.

The current Israeli raid of Al-Shifa began around 10 days ago.

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Euro-Med Monitor called for the UN special rapporteur on arbitrary or extrajudicial executions to urgently act to probe and document the killings carried out by Israeli forces in and near Al-Shifa.

It also urged the rapporteur to press for effective accountability measures for those who carried out and ordered these actions.

"Euro-Med Monitor draws attention to the need of protecting Palestinian children, who are more vulnerable to the ongoing Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip and who are not being afforded any protection under international law," the rights group said.

"Instead, the Israeli army has turned them into a clear and present target for murders, executions, and indiscriminate targeting, in addition to denying them food, shelter, and medical care."

Since Israel's war on Gaza began on 7 October, at least 53 schools have been completely destroyed, a report by the Occupied Palestinian Territory Education Cluster, which is co-led by UN children's agency UNICEF and the NGO Save the Children, has found. The report used satellite imagery.

Israel's military campaign has so far killed 32,552 people in the Palestinian enclave.

The International Court of Justice in January said that Israel was plausibly breaching the Genocide Convention in Gaza.