Question of Palestine home
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
27 June 2006
: There has been a significant increase in the number of Palestinian and Israeli casualties in June 2006, along with an escalation of both Israel Air Force (IAF) air strikes on the Gaza Strip and Palestinian homemade rocket attacks on Israel.
Implications on Crossing Points
: Since the attack at Kerem Shalom crossing on the Gaza-Israel-Egypt border on an Israeli military post and the kidnapping of an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier by Palestinian militants on 25 June; Rafah, Karni and Sufa crossings in and out of the Gaza Strip remain closed for the movement of people and goods. Erez crossing was closed on 25 and 26 June except for diplomats and emergency humanitarian cases, and it has reopened this morning for the representatives of international agencies. Erez remains closed for Palestinian workers. The Nahal Oz energy pipelines remain closed for the second consecutive day; no fuel supplies are reaching the Gaza Strip. The Israeli navy is continuing to impose a closure on the Gaza coastline with no Palestinian fishing boats being allowed to move out to sea.
Analysis of casualties
The figure above related to Palestinian casualties includes deaths and injuries caused by Israeli fire and Palestinian internal fighting, as well as the seven members of the Ghalia family who were killed on the beach by an explosive device on 9 June. The circumstances of this incident have been contested by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Government of Israel (GoI). The PA claims that the Ghalia family members were killed by the IDF artillery fire. The GoI has rejected this claim after conducting its own internal investigation.
More than a third of the Palestinian deaths in June 2006 caused by Israeli fire have been bystanders to IAF air strikes. Of the 57 Palestinians deaths, 10 of them were children, including six aged five years and under.
The two Israeli deaths were IDF soldiers killed by Palestinian militants at the Kerem Shalom military post. Most of the Israeli injuries occurred in the town of Sderot town in Israel and its neighboring areas following Palestinians’ firing of homemade rockets.
Most of the casualties as a result of internal violence are due to clashes between the Hamas dominated Executive Support Force (ESF) and the Fatah dominated Preventive Security Forces (PSF).
Chronology of June casualties (excluding incidents of internal Palestinian fighting)
– Four Israelis in Sderot were lightly injured from three homemade rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
– Two IDF soldiers were killed and three others injured during an attack by Palestinian militants on an IDF base at Kerem Shalom crossing. Two Palestinian militants were also killed in the attack and an IDF soldier was taken captive by the militants.
– Two Palestinians were killed (including a woman in her seventh month of pregnancy) and 11 were injured (including six children) when an IAF drone fired a missile targeting a vehicle north-east of Khan Younis. The missile missed the vehicle and hit a house.
– Three Palestinian children aged four, five and 16 years were killed, and 12 others injured (seven of whom were children) in Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza city when the IAF fired a missile at a vehicle carrying a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. He escaped unharmed.
– Two members of Islamic Jihad were targeted and killed while driving on Salah Ed-Din street north of Bureij camp.
– Three Israelis were injured by homemade rockets fired by Palestinians towards Sderot.
– Two members of Islamic Jihad were killed by the IDF while trying to plant an explosive device near the border fence east of Deir El Balah.
– Eleven Palestinians, including a father, his two sons aged four and six years, were killed by two IAF missile strikes which were aimed at a vehicle driven by members of Islamic Jihad. Two of the targeted passengers were killed. 32 Palestinians were injured.
– Three Israelis were wounded, one seriously, when a Palestinian rocket landed outside Sapir Academic College in Israel.
– Two members of Hamas were killed and three others injured by an IAF air strike while preparing to launch a homemade rocket in northern Gaza.
– Two Palestinian bystanders were injured in Gaza city when a vehicle carrying Hamas members was targeted by an IAF air strike. The Hamas members escaped unhurt.
– Seven members of a Palestinian family, including five children, were killed by an explosive device on a northern Gaza beach. Thirty-three other Palestinians were also injured, including 11 children.
– One Palestinian from a militant organisation was injured when his car was hit by the IAF.
– Three Palestinians including two brothers and a cousin were targeted and killed in an IAF air strike near Kamal Adwan hospital in Jabalia. The IDF claims the three were Palestinian militants, however this is denied by the family.
– Three Hamas members were injured north of Beit Lahia when the car in which they were traveling was targeted by the IAF.
– Jamal Abu Samhadana, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and director of the Hamas-led Executive Support Forces was targeted and killed by the IAF along with three members of PRC in an IAF air strike on a training camp outside Rafah.
– Two Palestinian smugglers were killed by an Israeli tank shell along with a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces (NSF) near the border fence east of Gaza city. Six Palestinians were injured.
– Two members from the Popular Resistance Committees were targeted and killed by the IAF and another four Palestinians injured, including two bystanders, when their car was hit by two IAF missiles east of Jabalia.
– An Israeli woman was injured when her house near Sderot was hit by a homemade rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.
– A member of the PA security forces was injured by IDF gunfire near the border fence east of Al Shouka area in Rafah.
– A member of the PA security forces was injured in a clash in northern Gaza with an IDF undercover unit.
– A Palestinian man was injured when an IDF artillery shell landed near his home in the Bedouin village north of Beit Lahia.
– Two Palestinian sisters aged 2 and 3 years were injured by an IDF artillery shell in eastern Jabalia.
– Two Palestinian boys aged 12 and 15 years were injured by gunfire from an IDF naval vessel while swimming in the sea to the west of Beit Lahia.
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The IDF reported that it suspended shelling into the Gaza Strip on 9 June pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the deaths of the Ghalia family. However, the Palestinian DCO reports that three artillery shells were fired into northern Gaza on 12 June although no casualties were reported.
This table includes the seven members of the Ghalia family.