Egypt: 500 Civilians Killed During the Military Operation “Retribution for the Martyr” in Sinai

12042899_928518320573930_809629360816659968_nBy HUMAN Rights Monitor

A security operation “Retribution for the martyr” took place in coordination with the police and military beginning in September 2015 in the Sheik Zuweid and Rafah districts in North East Sinai in what they alleged to be a ‘war on terrorists’ against the ongoing insurgency.

The operation continued for 16 days during which the Egyptian military spokesman stated on its official Facebook page that the military was able to combat and seize weapons and ammunition storage places and take over main roads in the area in addition to destroying large numbers of vehicles including 4WD, motor bikes and others and communication devices.

The statement ended highlighting that the operation which was launched and intended to save the area from terrorists had ended on September 22, 2015.
In an official statement by the military it alleged that it took precautions to take care of civilians and protect them.

In ten different statements issued daily during the operation the military alleged that the forces were able to kill 535 people describing them as ‘terrorists without revealing their names, times of death or even reasons they were killed while 578 others were arrested. It added that the military will continue in its alleged operation against terrorists in the city of Arish 40 km away following the feast break.

HRM documented cases where innocent civilians were killed including women and children either by Egypt’s security forces or armed assailants while others were mysteriously killed.

1 and 2: Gamilla Suleiman Awad 35 and her infant child Ahmed Awad Mohamed 10 months were killed following an airstrike by F16 on their home in the Sadout district in West Rafah.

3: Ahmed Mohsen Mohamed Eid Ayad 35, killed by a military sniper stationed on top of a building in Foz Abu Raad in Rafah on September 7, 2015.

4, 5 and 6: Mohamed Howdy Alnasayera from Sheik Zuweid and Abdul Karim Alraqeebat a camel trader along with a third person were killed in their car at a military checkpoint on September 13, 2015.

7, 8 and 9: Mohamed Abu Shanab, his wife and daughter were killed by an F16 strike on their home in Alwahshy village North Sheik Zuweid on September 16, 2015.

10: Safaa Salma Awda 34 was killed following a strike on her family home fired from a checkpoint in South Rafah on September 12, 2015.

11: Ahmed Samy Def Allah 7 was killed on September 19, 2015 while sitting in his father’s minivan by army vehicles who shot at it. According to his family shots were randomly fired at the bus station where the vehicle was parked.

12: Mohamed Suleiman Alhamadeen was arrested on September 19, 2015 and HRM documented his case. On September 24, his body was found at the Sheik Zuweid cemetery grounds close to the Military campus where he was killed.

13: Halima Fareeg Mubarak Talaq 7 was also killed after military forces shot her in the Zwaraa district in South Sheik Zuweid on September 21st, 2015.

14: A lady from Algawra village was also killed on September, 2015 after a military campaign was carried out during the Retribution for the martyr operation.

15: Alzawara village witnessed the death of yet another lady after an airstrike targeted her house in September in South Sheik Zuweid. Her body was charred according to her family.

16: Ibrahim Abu Rabaa Freeh was killed just hours after his arrest from Mahdeya village in South Rafah on September 17, 2015.

17: Rabah Ramadan Eid Altorbany 38 was arrested and killed by military forces and his body was later found on September 8, 2015.

18: Hoda Abu Askander 40 was killed by force stationed at the Bawaba military checkpoint in sheik Zuweid on September 8, 2015.

19: Maged Abu Rawash from Arish was killed on his way back from work by Egyptian military forces stationed at a checkpoint in West Rafah on September 7, 2015.

20, 21 and 22: Almzaraa family lost three family members including a child by a military airstrike in South Rafah on September 7, 2015.

23: A young man from the Alsawarka clan was killed after live bullets were shot at him in the Rawda village by Egypt’s military forces after he was tortured during the operation on September 7, 2015.

24: Anwar Selim Labad Mahawesh 25 from the Shalaq village in West Sheikh Zuweid was killed in his home by military forces on September 17, 2015.

25 and 26: Heba Farag 28 and her mother Wadha Salem were killed following a military airstrike on their home in South Sheikh Zuweid on September 10, 2015.
27 and 28: Ahmed Eid Alakour 37 and Mohamed Selim Alakour were also killed by random airstrike by the Egyptian military in South Sheikh Zuweid on September 10, 2015.

29: Emad Mahmoud Suleiman Abu Marzouka was killed in the Azouly Prison in Ismailia one month after he was arrested from his home on September 11, 2015.

30: Ismail Salem Muslim 65 from Alshalaq West Sheik Zuweid village was also killed by airstrike at his home on September 14, 2014.

31: Ahmed Omar Salem 3 was killed by a F16 airstrike while his sisters were injured on September 7, 2015.

32: Asmaa Alsayed Mohamed Alqawasma 14 was killed by Egyptian military forces random fire in the Sedra district in South Sheikh Zuweid on September 7, 2015.

HRM also documented the death of 3 from one family by armed militants on September 11, after a car bomb targeting military forces which destroyed their house in the Masoura district West Rafah. The victims include Saeed Awad Hussein 61, and his children Karim 4 and Ruweida 7.

Anonymous forces directly shot at civilians alleging they cooperated with the Egyptian army offering information regarding their activities. The victims include Rashad Abu Rukya who was shot at in front of his home on September 14, 2015.

HRM has also documented the massacre which took place in the Jazeera district in Central Sinai after anonymous militants killed 13 individuals during an attack on a wedding.

No group has assumed responsibility regarding the attack which took place on September 14, 2015.

The number of women to date killed by military forces is 8 with 7 children also killed during different military operations in Sinai while 5 civilians were killed after they were arrested.

In ten different statements issued daily during the operation the military alleged that the forces were able to kill 535 people describing them as ‘terrorists without revealing their names, times of death or even reasons they were killed while 578 others were arrested. It revealed the start of a second phase aiming at enforcing security control and providing support to local residents of Sinai following the Eid festivals,

The spokesman added in a statement that the objectives of the first phase of the operation “Retribution for the Martyr” were met. The achievements included destroying hideouts and strongholds of “terrorist elements” in North Sinai, destroying a network of weapon storages used to execute operations against army and police in North and Middle Sinai in addition to cementing security over main and side roads around Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid and Al-Arish.

According to HRM documentation regarding the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances to several residents in Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah areas Egypt’s military, police and security forces committed crimes which more suitably can be described as war crimes violating all international and national agreements and conventions mandated regarding human rights. Article 5 in the Universal Declaration for human rights cites

In the wake of escalating violations by Egypt’s security forces against innocent civilians in Sinai HRM calls on the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings to form a fact finding committee to investigate the incidents in Sinai and to end the genocide and evacuation of innocent people. It also calls for serious measures to be taken to end these crimes and to restore the respect of the basic principles of human rights and dignity in Egypt and to hold any and all factions accountable for their actions.

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