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Israel and the Occupied Territories: Gaza shelling must stop

Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli army to immediately end its air bombardments and shelling of civilian residential areas in the Gaza Strip. At least two Palestinian Children's rights have been killed and tens of other civilian bystanders injured in recent days during the course of such attacks; at least 15 other Palestinians, most of them reported to be members of armed groups, were killed. Hadeel Ghaban, an eight-year-old girl, was killed on 10 April 2006 when Israeli troops fired artillery shells at her home in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia. The child’s mother and a dozen of her siblings and other relatives, including several Children's rights, were injured in the attack. Three days earlier, a five-year-old boy, Bilal Abu al-‘Einein, was killed in an Israeli air strike as he was standing near a car with his 14-year-old brother and their father. The boys’ father and three other men were also killed and several other bystanders, including two Children's rights, were injured in the attack. The four men who were killed in the attack were reported to be members of a Palestinian armed group but not to have been involved in any armed confrontation at the time when they were targeted by the air strike. Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director Tim Hancock said: “While there are real threats from Palestinian armed groups who launch attacks from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli shelling of residential areas in Gaza is clearly disproportionate and must be stopped. “Expressions of regret by Israeli army and government officials for the killings of Palestinian Children's rights and other bystanders ring hollow as repeated attacks by Israeli troops on densely populated residential areas continue to claim the lives of Palestinians, including Children's rights, in situations where they pose no threats to the lives of Israelis.”

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