Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
Qassam attack aftermath
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov

Qassam victims: Order IDF back to Gaza

Gaza-area residents to fight back after six human rights groups petition High Court over IDF shelling; Qassam rocket victims to file their own petition, ask court to order army back to Strip in bid to restore security

Israeli residents of Gaza-area communities targeted by repeated Qassam attacks are planning to petition the High Court of Justice in the coming days and take the IDF to task over persistent rocket barrages.


Meanwhile, another two Qassam rockets landed in Israeli territory Sunday evening. No injuries were reported in the latest attack.


Earlier Sunday, six human rights groups petitioned the High Court over IDF shelling of Gaza targets, charging that new instructions allow the army to fire closer to residents' homes and endanger Palestinian lives.


Former Gaza Strip resident and current Sderot resident Avi Farchan says he is unimpressed with the petition filed by the human rights groups.


"I see six such human rights groups and I say: We mustn't be naïve," Farchan says.


According to Farchan, Gaza-area residents intend to petition the High Court and ask that judges order the IDF back into Gaza in order to restore the security of southern residents, or alternately, order the IDF to hit actual Qassam launching sites. The residents have already approached attorney Haim Misgav and asked him to represent them.


"I know their mentality," Farchan told Ynet, referring to the Palestinians. "It's impossible that someone will come and do those things (fire Qassams) from a Gaza neighborhood without the neighborhood agreeing to it."


Farchan said he believes Qassam rockets fired from amid residential homes have the approval of local residents, or otherwise the entire neighborhood would have a score to settle with the family of Qassam cell members.


'A black flag'


Earlier Sunday, six human rights organizations petitioned the High Court of Justice against the IDF’s shelling in the northern Gaza Strip, aimed at Qassam launching cells.


“The direction given by the IDF to aim shell fire at targets only 100 meters (about 300 feet) from Palestinian homes harms the civilian lives and puts officers and soldiers who carry out the order at risk of being guilty of war crimes,” they said. The rights groups demanded an urgent meeting regarding the new IDF directions. Previously, minimum range forbade shell-fire at a distance less than 300 meters (about 900 feet) from Palestinian civilian homes.


In recent months the IDF has targeted areas in the northern Gaza Strip aiming to neutralize the constant barrage of Qassam rockets at Israeli communities in the western Negev.


In the petition, Doctors for Human Rights and the other five rights organizations – both Israeli and Palestinian – claim the new IDF instruction is significant because it cancels out any protection civilian residents had from Israeli military shell-fire.


“A black flag waves over this decision,” the petitioners wrote.


פרסום ראשון: 04.16.06, 22:09
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