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Rights group: Silence over airstrikes spurs impunity

Aug. 2, 2010 2:28 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 3, 2010 10:38 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian rights group Al-Mezan warned Monday that the international community’s silence over Israel’s escalation of attacks on Gaza encourages Israel to violate international law with impunity, a statement read.

The human rights center conducted field investigations of the damage caused by the weekend’s airstrikes, which killed one Palestinian and injured more than 21, and damaged 30 houses and institutions.

A series of aerial attacks overnight on Friday hit the former presidential compound east of Gaza City, while a separate attack on the central Gaza Strip killed Issa Abdul-Hadi Al-Batran, 41. Al-Batran had lost his wife and five of his children in an airstrike in January 2009 during Israel’s war on the Strip.

The same night, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah.

Israel continued to launch missiles at Rafah on Sunday morning, while an aerial attack east of Khan Younis injured one civilian.

The Israeli military said the raids were in response to projectiles launched into Israel from the coastal enclave.

Monday morning, medics reported that 42 civilians were injured by a missile fired by an Israeli F16 fighter jet, however an Israeli military spokeswoman said there was no army or air force activity overnight.

Al-Mezan called for international intervention to protect the civilian population of Gaza against Israeli attacks, which residents have said are reminiscent of Operation Cast Lead.

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