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Amid Israeli attacks targeting three hospitals, child amputee receiving treatment, Dina Abu Mohsen, 12, was killed; egregious violations that warrant accountability
23، Dec 2023

(Translation of a joint statement published on 18 December 2023)

Our organisations, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al Mezan, and Al-Haq condemn the Israeli bombing of the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, which led to the killing of Dina Iyad Abu Mohsen, a 12-year-old survivor of a previous bombing that killed her parents and two of her siblings, and resulted in the amputation of her leg. The attack on Nasser Hospital is part of Israel’s wider military campaign targeting hospitals, aimed at deliberately destroying the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip, necessary for the survival of Palestinians therein, is part of Israel’s ongoing genocide.

According to the information available to our researchers, on Sunday, 17 December 2023, at approximately 10:05 pm, a large artillery shell fell on Mubarak Children’s Hospital at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. The attack resulted in the killing of the child Dina Iyad Abu Mohsen, 12, who was undergoing treatment due to injuries sustained and the amputation of her right leg resulting from an earlier Israeli bombing. Five other Palestinians were also injured when the unexploded shell hit the room, which also caused damages to the building, including a hole in the wall. 


As gathered by our researchers, Dina had previously sustained injuries in an Israeli airstrike on 27 October 2023, targeting her relative’s home in Al-Amal neighbourhood in Khan Younis. During that attack, six of her relatives, including her father, mother, and two of her siblings, were killed, while two younger siblings survived. Dina was transferred for treatment to the Nasser Hospital, where she remained until the occurrence of the aforementioned shell that killed her.


Following her first injury, Dina recounted in interviews that she awoke from her sleep after a bombing, and her parents comforted and hugged her. Then an explosion occurred and she lost consciousness. Upon regaining consciousness, she found herself in a hospital, confronted with the devastating truth that she had not only lost her leg, but also her parents and two of her siblings. Dina had also expressed her aspirations of becoming a doctor to help treat other children.


Dina’s family, originally residing in Al-Qarara in Khan Younis, sought refuge in a relative’s home in the Al-Amal neighbourhood in Khan Younis, after Israeli evacuation orders. Notably, the shell that killed Dina was the second to strike the Nasser Hospital on that day, as an earlier unexploded shell had fallen on tents housing displaced people, injuring two Palestinians. We reiterate, once again, that there is no safe place in the Gaza Strip, including hospitals, which are afforded special protection under international humanitarian law.


Israeli military tanks, positioned in Al-Satar Al-Gharbi area and the town of Al-Qarara, north of Khan Younis, intermittently fire shells indiscriminately. These shells fell upon homes and streets, resulting in casualties and damages in the city centre, some areas of Al-Amal neighbourhood and Khan Younis Refugee Camp.


On the evening of the same day, 17 December 2023, and after 12 days of siege, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) raided Al-Awda Hospital in the Tal Al-Zaatar area, north of Gaza City. The IOF ordered the 21 medical staff to leave the hospital, compelled them to undress, and detained them for at least three hours before allowing their return to the hospital and arresting the Director, Dr. Ahmed Muhanna, who was taken to an unknown destination. Following this raid, all hospitals in northern Gaza were completely out of service and rendered inoperative. Palestinians, including those killed and wounded, are now being received in small clinics, the majority of which are newly established, and lack essential medical capabilities.


Since the early hours of Monday, 18 December 2023, the IOF have continued to shoot and shell Al-Shifa Hospital, west of Gaza City. Tens of thousands of Palestinians took refuge in Al-Shifa Hospital following Israeli evacuation orders that forced them to leave their home in various neighbourhoods in Gaza, particularly those in the east. This attack killed at least five Palestinians and injured several others, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Our teams persist in the effort to confirm the number of casualties as reports of additional casualties continue to be received. 


Our organisations affirm that hospitals and medical facilities are civilian objects, and are afforded special protection under international humanitarian law. Israel’s repeated, widespread and systematic attacks on hospitals and healthcare facilities demand an international investigation into these attacks, which amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.


We renew our demand for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip, and a halt to all acts of the crime of genocide against our people in the Gaza Strip.


We call on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to expedite practical actions and to promptly undertake concrete measures to complete the ICC investigation into the Situation in Palestine, and to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, including crimes against hospitals. Palestinian victims, long awaiting justice and redress, continue to suffer amid grave escalations of hostilities – each time more violent – as international inaction enables Israel to entrench its settler colonialism, 75-year-long apartheid regime, and 56-year-long occupation and annexation of Palestinian territory, with impunity.


It is high time for the Prosecutor of the ICC to cease the double standards and selectivity in addressing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of genocide. Immediate and meaningful action, including the issuance of arrest warrants, is needed and necessary to ensure accountability for the perpetrators and justice for victims.