B’TSELEM – 7 MEMBERS OF THE KAWARE FAMILY

בצלם – 7 חברים ממשפחת הקוואר

بتسيلم – 7 أعضاء من عائلة كوير

Humanize Palestine gallery photos

THE B’TSELEM FALSE NARRATIVE

(taken from the B’Tselem webpage)

The Kaware’ family home in Khan Yunis

On 8 July 2014, at around 1:30 P.M., the military called the Kaware’ home, informed the family that the house was to be bombed, and instructed them to leave the premises. The three-story building, owned by Ahmad Kaware’, consists of seven apartments belonging to Kaware’ and his sons. One son, ‘Odeh Kaware’, is an activist in Hamas’ military wing. At first, the family members obeyed the instruction to leave the house, but they gathered outside it with dozens of other persons. At approximately 2:50 P.M., a missile fired from an unmanned aerial vehicle struck the solar water tank on the roof of the building. Several minutes later, family members and neighbors began to go up to the roof. At 3:00 P.M., a missile was fired at the building from an F-16 fighter jet. At that stage, four persons were on the roof and other people were in the stairway or in the courtyard, on their way to the roof. The roof collapsed under the bombing, killing eight people, six of them children. Another 28 people were injured, ten of them sustaining severe injuries.

Bombing the homes of senior activists in armed groups violates international humanitarian law, which provides a narrow definition of what constitutes a legitimate target and permits aiming attacks only at targets that effectively assist military efforts, when damaging them can provide a military advantage. Treating these homes as legitimate targets is an unlawful, distorted interpretation of the concept, resulting in harm to civilians, whom this body of law is intended to protect.

An IDF Spokesperson’s announcement from yesterday, after the first round of attacks, stated only that “among the targets attacked were four homes of activists in the Hamas terror organization who are involved in terrorist activity and direct and carry out high-trajectory fire towards Israel…”. In other words, the military itself acknowledged that the attacks were illegally aimed at homes that were not military targets. Only later was a new announcement made, in an attempt to retroactively adapt the described activity to the requirements of international law, stating that the targets were “the homes of senior activists that function as command and control headquarters”.

In the case of the Kaware’ home, not only can the house not be considered a legitimate target, but civilians were on the premises at the time of the bombing. Although the military did warn the inhabitants of the impending attack and instruct them to leave, its duty does not end with giving prior warning: it must give the inhabitants enough time to leave and ensure that all civilians have indeed evacuated the spot. Given the military’s sophisticated surveillance equipment, those responsible for the bombing should have known that civilians went back into the building. According to a senior air force officer, the military did not have enough time to divert the missile once civilians were detected re-entering the building. This claim is unreasonable, as many people were already crowded around the house when the warning missile was fired, raising suspicion that not all necessary precautions were taken to prevent harm to civilians. 

FALSEHOOD #1

One son, ‘Odeh Kaware’, is an activist in Hamas’ military wing.

FALSEHOOD #2

“At approximately 2:50 P.M., a missile fired from an unmanned aerial vehicle struck the solar water tank on the roof of the building. Several minutes later, family members and neighbors began to go up to the roof. At 3:00 P.M., a missile was fired at the building from an F-16 fighter jet. At that stage, four persons were on the roof and other people were in the stairway or in the courtyard, on their way to the roof. The roof collapsed under the bombing, killing eight people….”

FALSEHOOD #3

“Bombing the homes of senior activists in armed groups violates international humanitarian law, which provides a narrow definition of what constitutes a legitimate target and permits aiming attacks only at targets that effectively assist military efforts, when damaging them can provide a military advantage. Treating these homes as legitimate targets is an unlawful….”

FALSEHOOD #4

“…the military itself acknowledged that the attacks were illegally aimed at homes that were not military targets. Only later was a new announcement made, in an attempt to retroactively adapt the described activity to the requirements of international law, stating that the targets were the homes of senior activists that function as command and control headquarters.”

FALSEHOOD #5

“In the case of the Kaware’ home, not only can the house not be considered a legitimate target, but civilians were on the premises at the time of the bombing.”

FALSEHOOD #6

“According to a senior air force officer, the military did not have enough time to divert the missile once civilians were detected re-entering the building.”

FALSEHOOD #7

“… not all necessary precautions were taken to prevent harm to civilians.”

THE FACTUAL NARRATIVE

NOTE

The factual narrative documenting this incident can be downloaded from the following sources:

The Guardian – Click HERE to view website

Haaretz – Click HERE to view website

Masr Alarabia – Click HERE to view website

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Click HERE to view website

THE MILITARY ADVOCATE GENERAL CORPS

Incident involving the alleged death of Kaware family members in Khan Yunis (8 July 2014) –

The MAG Corps received reports, as well as complaints from human rights organizations, regarding allegations that an aerial strike on a residential building in Khan Yunis on July 8, 2014, resulted in the death of eight civilians. Subsequently, and in accordance with the MAG’s investigation policy, the incident was referred to the Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism (the ‘FFA Mechanism’).

The material collected by the FFA Mechanism, and its findings, which were reviewed by the MAG, indicated that the aerial strike was carried out against the building due to its use for military purposes by Hamas, as was the case with numerous other residential buildings in the Gaza Strip. Prior to the strike, the IDF provided precautions to the residents of the building to vacate the premises. These precautions included an individual phonecall and the firing of a non-explosive projective at the roof of the premises, as part of the ‘knock on the roof’ procedure. Following the provision of the precautions, the residents vacated the buildingSubsequently, a number of people were identified as returning to the premises for unknown reasons. However, at this stage the bomb had already been released and could not be diverted from its target. It appears that it was these people who were killed as a result of the strike.

The MAG found that the strike process conformed with the requirements of Israeli law and international law, and despite the tragic outcome, that there was no deficiency in the actions of the IDF forces involved. As a result, the MAG ordered that the case be closed without further action against the IDF forces involved in the incident.

FALSEHOOD #1 – THE TRUTH

Odeh Kaware WAS NOT an “ACTIVIST” in Hamas’ military wing. He was Hamas’ Khan Yunis Company Commander, a senior Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades Hamas terrorist operative from the Kaware clan, a terror combatant.

FALSEHOOD #2 – THE TRUTH

The B’Tselem narrative cites a 2:50 P.M. missile strike on the solar water tank on the roof of the Kaware house. Never mentioned is the fact that this missile strike was part of the precautions the IDF provides civilians in buildings prior to the attack on the structure. This precautionary missile strike or procedure, is known as the ‘knock on the roof’, the firing of a non-explosive projectile at the roof of a structure to warn the inhabitants of the imminent attack and to vacate the structure. The fact that the strike on the water tank was the ‘knock on the roof’ warning and never stated in the B’Tselem narrative, reveals their intent. Their narrative further stated that “…not all necessary precautions were taken to prevent harm to civilians….”. This is obviously false and misleading.

Also false and misleading is why members of the Kaware family went up to the roof when they were warned and aware that an attack on the structure was imminent. Missing from the B’Tselem narrative is an explanation of why Palestinians would chose to position themselves on a building’s roof that is about to be attacked. They did because they were ‘HUMAN SHIELDS’. Missing from the B’Tselem narrative is the fact that the Kaware family members were used by Hamas as ‘HUMAN SHIELDS’, a strategy to prevent the Israeli Air Force from attacking terror operatives’ houses.

Mohammed Ibrahim Kaware and his children seen below, were all killed in the attack. The father, Mohammed Kaware was a Fatah terror operative:

Mohammed Kaware’s martyr poster is seen below, being held affectionately by his daughter:

The martyr poster of Mohammed Ibrahim Kaware, above, contains the logo of the Hamas terror organization. This is interesting because Kaware was not a member of Hamas, he was affiliated with Fatah. The poster was most likely issued by Hamas, in recognition of his sacrifice to protect an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades facility from attack, the operations center in his house occupied by a relative, Odeh Kaware, Hamas’ Khan Yunis company commander. All completely missing from the B’Tselem narrative.

FALSEHOOD #3 – THE TRUTH

B’Tselem stated that attacking the home of Odeh Kaware was illegal under international law because it was not a legitimate military target, while it was occupied by a terror operative combatant, B’Tselem indirecly stated that the house was not being used for military purposes at the time of the attack – this is totally FALSE. It had been reported by multiple sources, Haaretz, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Military Advocate General Corps, that the house was used as an operations room by an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades company commander.

The Kaware house was a legitimate, lawful target.

FALSEHOOD #4 – THE TRUTH

The Israeli military NEVER acknowledged that attacks were illegally aimed at homes that were not military targets.

FALSEHOOD #5 – THE TRUTH

The Kaware house WAS a legitimate target, it was being used as an operations center by an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades commander, Odeh Kaware.

The civilians who were present at the time of the attack, were ‘HUMAN SHIELDS’. After heeding the Israeli warning of the imminent attack and leaving the house, they returned to the structure just as the missile was launched and their presence in real time was unknown to the IAF pilot.

FALSEHOOD #6 – THE TRUTH

The B’Tselem statement is TOTALLY FALSE: “According to a senior air force officer, the military did not have enough time to divert the missile once civilians were detected re-entering the building.”

Time WAS NEVER the issue. Once the missile was launched, it could not be aborted or diverted from its target.

“There was nothing to be done, the munition was in the air and could not be diverted,” a senior air force officer said. “Although you see [the family members] running back into the house, there was no way to divert the missile,” he said.

FALSEHOOD #7 – THE TRUTH

This B’Tselem statement is totally false: “… not all necessary precautions were taken to prevent harm to civilians.”

ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS WERE TAKEN. An individual phone call was made to each resident of the building and other residents in the immediate area of the planned attack, warning them of the imminent attack. An hour and twenty minutes later a missile was launched targeting the water tank on the roof of the house. This was the ‘knock on the roof’ procedure, firing an unarmed projectile at the roof to warn the buildings occupants of the pending attack.

All necessary precautions were taken, the civilians were killed because they were convinced by Hamas to return to the building as ‘human shields’ and that they would be able to prevent the attack on the structure. B’Tselem states that the Palestinian deaths were the result of illegal activities by the Israeli military. In reality, the deaths were the result of the Hamas’ ‘human shield’ strategy.

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