The 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) happened on 8 November, when shells hit a row of houses in the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun,killing at least 19 Palestinians and wounding more than 40. The shelling followed the IDF's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in completion of a week-long operation codenamed Operation "Autumn Clouds", which the Israeli government stated had been intended to stop the Qassam rocket attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants. The Israeli government apologized and attributed the incident to a technical malfunction.
The Gaza Strip, or simply Gaza, is a self-governing Palestinian territory on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, that borders Egypt on the southwest for 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) and Israel on the east and north along a 51 km (32 mi) border. Gaza and the West Bank are claimed by the State of Palestine.
Beit Hanoun or Beit Hanun is a city on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 32,187 in mid-2006. It is administered by the Hamas administration. It is located by the Hanoun stream, just 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) away from the Israeli town of Sderot. After 19 Palestinian civilians died during shelling by the IDF in 2006, the United Nations appointed a fact-finding commission, to be led by Desmond Tutu, to investigate if the shelling constituted a war crime; but the investigation was cancelled due to the lack of Israeli cooperation.
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs, are an ethnonational group comprising the modern descendants of the peoples who have lived in Palestine continuously over the centuries and who today are largely culturally and linguistically Arab; this definition includes those ethnic Jews and Samaritans who fit this definition. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one half of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in historic Palestine, the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel. In this combined area, as of 2005, Palestinians constituted 49% of all inhabitants, encompassing the entire population of the Gaza Strip (1.865 million), the majority of the population of the West Bank and 20.95% of the population of Israel proper as Arab citizens of Israel. Many are Palestinian refugees or internally displaced Palestinians, including more than a million in the Gaza Strip, about 750,000 in the West Bank and about 250,000 in Israel proper. Of the Palestinian population who live abroad, known as the Palestinian diaspora, more than half are stateless, lacking citizenship in any country. Between 2.1 and 3.24 million of the diaspora population live in neighboring Jordan, over 1 million live between Syria and Lebanon and about 750,000 live in Saudi Arabia, with Chile's half a million representing the largest concentration outside the Middle East.
Israel stated that the shelling was in response to a Qassam rocket attack from that location, possibly from a car driven into the area.According to the Israeli military, the artillery had misfired due to a malfunction of the guidance system. At least 40 people were wounded. Thirteen of the dead belonged to the same family.
The Palestinian National Authority is the interim self-government body established in 1994 following the Gaza–Jericho Agreement to govern the Gaza Strip and Areas A and B of the West Bank, as a consequence of the 1993 Oslo Accords. Following elections in 2006 and the subsequent Gaza conflict between the Fatah and Hamas parties, its authority had extended only in areas A and B of the West Bank. Since January 2013, the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority uses the name "State of Palestine" on official documents.
Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist militant organization. It has a social service wing, Dawah, and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. It has been the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip since its takeover of that area in 2007. During this period it fought several wars with Israel. It is regarded, either in whole or in part, as a terrorist organization by several countries and international organizations, most notably by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Russia, China, and Turkey are among countries who do not regard it so.
Mahmoud Abbas, also known by the kunya Abu Mazen, is the President of the State of Palestine and Palestinian National Authority. He has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since 11 November 2004, and Palestinian president since 15 January 2005. Abbas is a member of the Fatah party and was elected Chairman of Fatah in 2009.
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as the 12th Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009 and before that as a cabinet minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006. Between his first and second stints as a cabinet member, he served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003. After serving as PM he was sentenced to serve a prison term over convictions for accepting bribes and for obstruction of justice during his terms as mayor of Jerusalem and as trade minister.
Peace Now is a non-governmental organization, liberal advocacy and activist group in Israel with the aim of promoting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Gush Shalom is an Israeli peace activism group founded and led by former Irgun and Knesset member and journalist Uri Avnery in 1993. The left-wing organization has been involved in several Israeli controversies, such as sending a "Relief Convoy to Gaza" while it is under Hamas administration, and the mainstream Israeli media has described it, on occasion, as "radical" and "extreme". The American Friends Service Committee has described the group as "one of Israel's most influential peace organizations".
On 15 November 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted resolution S-3/1 [ permanent dead link ] which called for a fact-finding mission, consisting of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Professor Christine Chinkin of the United Kingdom to travel to Beit Hanoun. The resolution was accepted by a wide margin, with only seven countries opposing and six abstaining.
In reaction to the resolution, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel released a statement noting that Israel had already expressed regret regarding the incident, decrying the UN's "ignoring of the ongoing terrorism against Israeli civilians by the Palestinian terrorist organizations", and expecting the UN "to show a more balanced and fairer approach toward Israel and not to automatically adopt any notion from those whose only desire is to discredit Israel."
On three occasions, the mission attempted to travel to Beit Hanoun via Israel. Each of these attempts was frustrated by the refusal of the Government of Israel to cooperate with the mission.The mission finally visited Beit Hanoun from 27 to 29 May 2008.
In its final report, the mission concluded that "[I]n the absence of a well-founded explanation from the Israeli military –who is in sole possession of the relevant facts –the mission must conclude that there is a possibility that the shelling of Beit Hanoun constituted a war crime."
Tutu has vigorously protested the overall response to the incident: "The right to life has been violated not just through the killings [in Beit Hanoun], but also through the lack of an adequate investigation of the killings."
Andrew Exum has stated that the Israeli military had a "long history of mistakes causing many civilian casualties." About the 2006 shelling, he said that: "it was found it was caused by a faulty programming card in a counter-battery radar system, called Shilem, designed to track an enemy projectile's trajectory back to its point of origin and direct artillery fire back at that spot. The inquiry also found that the artillery crew had not recalibrated their weapons overnight and did not have spotters monitoring whether their fire was accurate, so 12 to 15 artillery shells were fired before it was realised they were hitting an apartment complex. It is not clear what changes the IDF made to its targeting methods as a result."
Operation "Days of Penitence", otherwise known as Operation "Days of Repentance" was the name used by Israel to describe an Israel Defense Forces invasion of the northern Gaza Strip conducted between 29 September and 16 October 2004. About 130 Palestinians, and 1 Israeli were killed.
On June 9, 2006, an explosion on the beach near the Gaza Strip municipality of Beit Lahia killed eight Palestinians. At least thirty others were injured. The aftermath of the incident was captured on video and showed a distressed eleven-year-old girl, Huda Ghaliya, reacting to the loss of family members, most of whom were killed in the incident. The footage of Ghaliya, which received considerable media attention, was broadcast on news networks around the world, making her a symbol of Palestinian suffering. The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung questioned the reliability of the video footage.
Operation "Autumn Clouds" is an Israeli military operation that began on 1 November 2006, following numerous rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel, when the Israeli Defense Forces entered the Gaza Strip triggering sporadic fighting near Beit Hanoun. The operation is the largest military endeavor undertaken by the Israeli military since Operation "Summer Rains" in the summer of 2006. The operation was launched to stop Palestinian rocket attacks into Israel.
Operation "Summer Rains" refers to the series of battles between Palestinian militants and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during summer 2006, prompted by Palestinian operations which resulted in the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Large-scale conventional warfare occurred in the Gaza Strip, starting on June 28, 2006. This was the first major ground operation in the Gaza Strip since Israel's unilateral disengagement plan was implemented between August and September 2005.
Operation Hot Winter, also called Operation Warm Winter, was an Israel Defense Forces military campaign in the Gaza Strip, launched on February 29, 2008 in response to Qassam rockets fired from the Strip by Hamas onto Israeli civilians. At least 112 Palestinian militants and civilians, along with three Israelis, were killed, and more than 150 Palestinians and seven Israelis were injured.
The Gaza–Israel conflict is a part of the localized Israeli–Palestinian conflict, but is also a scene of power struggle between regional powers including Egypt, Iran and Turkey together with Qatar, supporting different sides of the conflict in light of the regional standoff between Iran and Saudi Arabia on one hand and between Qatar and Saudi Arabia on the other, as well as crisis in Egyptian-Turkish relations.
On April 28, 2008, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attack took place in close proximity to a Palestinian family in Beit Hanoun. The IDF claimed that Palestinian gunmen they had targeted, were most probably carrying explosives which caused the civilian deaths immediately after its assault while Palestinian residents in Beit Hanoun claimed the explosion was a result of Israeli tank fire.
The Gaza War, also known as Operation Cast Lead, also known in the Muslim world as the Gaza Massacre and the Battle of al-Furqan by Hamas, was a three-week armed conflict between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel that began on 27 December 2008 and ended on 18 January 2009 in a unilateral ceasefire. The conflict resulted in between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths.
The 2008 Israel–Hamas ceasefire was an Egyptian-brokered six-month Tahdia "for the Gaza area", which went into effect between Hamas and Israel on 19 June 2008. According to the Egyptian-brokered agreement, Israel promised to halt air strikes and other attacks, while in return, there would not be rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. Once the ceasefire held, Israel was to gradually begin to ease its blockade of Gaza.
Events in the year 2006 in Israel.
Events in the year 2006 in the Palestinian territories.
The 2014 Israeli shelling of UNRWA Gaza shelters were seven shellings at UNRWA facilities in the Gaza Strip which took place between 21 July and 3 August 2014 during the Israeli-Gaza conflict. The incidents were the result of artillery, mortar or aerial missile fire which struck on or near the UNRWA facilities being used as shelters for Palestinians, and as a result at least 44 civilians, including 10 UN staff, died. During the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, many Palestinians fled their homes after warnings by Israel or due to air strikes or fighting in the area. An estimated 290,000 people took shelter in UNRWA schools.