World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Israeli raid on Beit Hanoun (2004)


Israeli raid on Beit Hanoun (2004)

The Raid on Beit Hanoun of 2004 or "Operation Forward Shield" was a 37 days long invasion and siege of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza by the Israeli army, from 29 June to 5 August 2004. The stated goal was to prevent future rocket attacks from Gaza following the deaths of two residents of the Israeli town of Sderot on 28 June.[1]

19 or 20 Palestinians were killed, including 6 children, and about 70 houses were destroyed.


  • Background 1
  • The operation 2
    • Casualties 2.1
    • Damages 2.2
    • Violation of international law 2.3
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Following the deaths of two residents of the Israeli town of Sderot on 28 June 2004, killed in a rocket attack by militants in occupied Gaza, the Israeli army started a raid on Beit Hanoun, dubbed "Operation Forward Shield". The stated goal was to prevent future rocket attacks from Gaza.[1] The operation, ahead the planned unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, was preceded by Operation Rainbow (2004) and followed by Operation Days of Penitence.

The operation

The raid started on 28/29 June 2004, around midnight, with a direct attack on the offices of local and international media. From an , that the building was "a communications center which maintained constant contact with terrorists" and that it had distributed "incitement material" from Hamas. Human Rights Watch and PCHR said it was a clear intent to silence local Palestinian media.[2][3] The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) wrote a letter Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, expressing its concerns.[4]

On 29 June 2004, about 5 am, the Israeli army deployed its forces around Beit Hanoun in north-eastern Gaza. With tanks and helicopters, the IDF attacked Beit Hanoun and neighbouring areas. The operation caused large-scale damage and destruction to property and infrastructure. On 3 August, the IDF expanded the operation further west with tanks and other armoured vehicles. The whole period of 37 days, civilian movement into and out of the town as well as movement within the town was banned. After 37 days, the IDF began its redeployment, on 5 August at 1 am.[1][5]


During the raid, 19 or 20 Palestinians were killed, including 6 children.[1][5][6]


With tanks and bulldozers, the Israeli army caused immense damage. According to PCHR, 70 houses were destroyed.[6] Al Mezan reported 33 completely destroyed homes.[5] Also factories and workshops were destroyed. The IDF damaged and destroyed schools, health and other public facilities, kindergartens, mosques, sewerage pumps and security posts. There was large-scale damage to infrastructure: water, electricity and sewerage networks and roads. Sixteen water-wells were destroyed.[1][5][6]

Levelling of agricultural land by IDF bulldozers and tanks was one of the main components of operation "Forward Shield". Orchards were almost completely destroyed.[1] In addition, 6 livestock farms were destroyed. Some 2,600-4,000 dunams of agricultural land were razed and destroyed.[1][5] [6]

Violation of international law

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, the Israeli army was responsible for large-scale damage and destruction of civilian homes and infrastructure. They also accused them of systematically obstructing medical assistance saying a number of Palestinians died as a result. They also claimed that Ambulances, clinics and medical centres and medical crews were systematically attacked saying they were fired at and personnel were threatened.[7][5]

Al Mezan said that the IDF occupied 36 homes and they systematically detained the inhabitants inside one room of the house, held them hostage and used them as human shield.[8]

Al Mezan claimed that the siege constituted collective punishment of the entire population, calling it a breach of IHL and, especially, the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.[5] Also the attacks on the press are considered a breach of international humanitarian law.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Preliminary Humanitarian Situation Report Operation "Forward Shield". Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 20 August 2004
  2. ^ a b Israel: Strikes to Silence Palestinian Media. Human Rights Watch, 2 July 2004
  3. ^ PCHR Condemns Israeli Aerial Attack on a Press Office in Gaza. PCHR, 29 June 2004
  4. ^ CPJ expresses grave concern about Gaza strike. Committee to Protect Journalists, 30 June 2004
  5. ^ a b c d e f g A paper on the IOF Invasion of the town of Beit Hanoun (29 June – 5 August 2004). Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 12 August 2004. On [1]
  6. ^ a b c d A special Issue at the End of 2004. PCHR, 30 December 2004
  7. ^ PCHR, Third Report on Israeli Attacks against Palestinian Medical Personnel, 1 September 2002 – 31 December 2004, par. Beit Hanoun
  8. ^ Al Mezan paper on the IOF Invasion, 12 August 2004
    "Another 36 homes were occupied by Israeli soldiers and used as watch posts. In every case of home occupation the IOF detained the inhabitants inside one room of the house"

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.