Explosive violence by the Israeli Defense ForcesExplosive violence researchExplosive violence in Gaza

Gaza: missiles and rockets killing civilians in towns and cities, 9-11 May

Since Israel’s pre-dawn airstrikes on Tuesday, 9 May 2023, AOAV has recorded at least 74 civilian casualties throughout the Gaza strip, across 11 individual missile and rocket strikes. At least 13 civilians have been reported killed in these incidents, and 61 injured. AOAV has also recorded at least 10 Islamic Jihad members killed, and three injured.

Civilian casualties include at least 21 children.

In that time, strikes have been recorded in seven towns and cities, with Gaza City accounting for the majority of civilian casualties. 35 civilians were reported killed and injured there. Civilians were also killed and injured in Rafah (15 civilian casualties), Beit Hanoun (13), Khan Younis (7), Beit Lahia (2), and Qarara (2). All strikes were recorded in populated areas. 

Throughout Wednesday, rocket fire set off air-raid sirens throughout southern and central Israel. No casualties were reported due to the strikes, but civilians were injured in the rush to reach shelters. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that “this round is not over,” while Islamic Jihad said it would continue firing rockets. Dr. Iain Overton from Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has strongly condemned these actions, stating “The increasing reliance on explosive weapons in populated areas results in the loss of innocent lives and is a clear violation of international humanitarian law.

Overall, AOAV has recorded 1,024 incidents of explosive weapon use in Gaza and the West Bank since 2010, and 7,128 civilian casualties (1,623 killed and 5,505 injured). Among the civilian casualties, AOAV has recorded at least 1,525 children. Civilians represent 91% of all 7,832 casualties of explosive violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

96% (6,862) of civilian casualties have been attributed to state actors, specifically Israel. Non-state actors have killed and injured 125 civilians in the OPT, in particular Hamas (65 civilian casualties), unattributed Palestinian militants (6), Islamic State (2), and unknown non-state actors (52).

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.