View Full Version : Medics condemn Gaza sonic booms

11-03-2005, 10:38 AM
Israel continues to control Gaza's airspace, coastline and borders
BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4402326.stm)

Doctors' groups have filed a petition at the Israeli Supreme Court seeking to halt air force jets from breaking the sound barrier over the Gaza Strip.

The UN says the tactic is an abuse of human rights, causing widespread fear especially among children, and medics say it induces miscarriages.

The sonic booms from Israeli jets are designed to be a show of force to militant groups, correspondents say.

Israel evacuated its settlers and troops from Gaza earlier this year.

However, the Jewish state continues to control the territory's airspace, coastline and borders.

It has also continued to carry out air raids against what it says are militant targets.


The joint Israeli-Palestinian petition filed in the Supreme Court by the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel says that according to international law, "the booms are collective punishment against the civilian population and thus illegal".

The head of the Gaza group, Dr Eyad Sarraj, a psychiatrist, has said that the sonic booms are having serious effects on children in Gaza, including anxiety, panic, fear, poor concentration and low academic success.

He also reports that the number of miscarriages among pregnant women increase during periods of frequent sonic booms.

The United Nations spokesman in Gaza, Khaled Abdul Shafi, said: "We at the United Nations have already submitted a letter of protest to the Israeli government urging them to stop... the sonic booming and the air raids immediately, because we simply think that this is a violation of basic human rights, especially rights of children to live in peace and to be educated in peace."

The Israeli military declined to comment.

"Because the subject is before the Supreme Court, the response will be given in that framework," the army spokesman's office said.

Palestinian boy shot in West Bank
BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4402502.stm)

A Palestinian boy has been transferred to an Israeli hospital after being shot by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

Initial reports said that 12-year-old Ahmed Ismail Khatib had been killed.

He is in a critical condition after being shot in the body and head while throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank town of Jenin.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said a soldier was lightly wounded by a mortar fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel by Palestinian militants.

The young boy was shot during renewed clashes in Jenin where Israeli forces are trying to round up or kill suspected militants.

Earlier on Thursday, 30 Israeli army Jeeps supported by Apache helicopters moved into the centre of Jenin, the AFP agency reported.

Islamic Jihad said it was behind a suicide bombing in the Israeli town of Hadera that killed five Israelis on 26 October.