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Anwar Al Zaneen was killed on Sunday the 10th of August 2014. Photo: Al Mezan

Aid worker Anwar Al Zaaneen killed in Gaza

- It is with sadness and anger we get the information that Anwar Al Zaaneen, at Diakonia's partner organization Al Mezan in Gaza has been killed by a targeted missile from an Israeli drone, says Bo Forsberg, secretary general of Diakonia. 


Hit by a missile when trying to get water

Anwar Al Zaaneen's death is one of many tragic examples of how the violence in Gaza primarily affects civilians.

"It is good that the EU and Sweden have criticized rocket attacks against civilians in Israel. But the Swedish government must step forward and also condemn Israel's assault and not excuse it with the right to ”self-defense”. EU and Sweden must ensure that reports of war crimes by all parties are held accoutable of their actions," says Diakonia's secretary general Bo Forsberg.

Aid worker Anwar Al Zaaneen had worked at the Palestinian human rights organization Al Mezan, a long time Diakonia partner, in Gaza since 2000. He was hit by the missile as he tried to get water to the bombed neighborhoods in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

Systematic violations of IHL

Al Mezan said in its press release that the killing of Anwar Al Zaneen is just one of the many systematic violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) that Israel commits. The conscious bombing of civilian apartment buildings is, according to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, part of Israel's military strategy. And according toanalysis from Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Network EMHRN these actions are against the laws of war.

The UN and the Red Cross condemn attacks and shellings

The UN has condemned the targeted attacks on six of their refugee camps. The Red Cross condemns shelling of hospitals, ambulances and staff, and demands an immediate stop.

Diakonia sends its  deepest condolences to Anwar Al Zaanen's family and Al Mezan's staff who work tirelessly to document and denounce violations of human rights and the laws of war - regardless of who is responsible for the violations.

Anwar Al Zaaneen was 41 years old.

Al Mezan, documenting the number of civilian casualties in the conflict, states that since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge 8 July has, until August 10, 1918 people have been killed. Of these, 437 children and 250 women. 914 have been killed by bombs at family homes. 

Al Mezans preliminary studies show that 86 percent of those killed were civilians. Human Rights Watch also reports of deliberate attacks on fleeing civilians.