Israel Violated Cease-fire 7 Times

US Media Misreport Latest Gaza Violence

Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End?

Flyer About Gaza Cease-Fire Violations

If Americans Knew
January 27, 2009

American media are reporting violence that took place along the Gaza-Israel border on January 27th as, in the words of CNN, "the first incidents of violence since last week's Mideast cease-fire," telling the public that Palestinians broke the ceasefire.1

The reality, however, is that Israel had already violated the cease-fire at least 7 times, the Israeli military killing 2 Palestinian civilians and injuring at least 5, at least one of them a child:

  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian farmer in Khuza'a east of Khan Yunis on Jan 18
  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian farmer east of Jabalia on Jan 19
  • Israeli naval gunboats shelled the Gaza coast line, causing damage to civilian structures on Jan 21
  • Israeli troops shot and injured a child east of Gaza City on Jan 22
  • Israeli gunboat fire injured 4-7 Palestinian fishermen on Jan 22
  • Israeli shelling set a Palestinian house on fire on Jan 22
  • Israeli tanks fired on the border town of Al Faraheen, causing damage to homes and farms on Jan 24

This list does not include two Palestinian children who were killed on January 20th by unexploded ordnance left from Israel's 22-day assault on Gaza.2 (Additional details about the above cease-fire breaches and citations can be found in the timeline below.)

Timeline of Cease-fire Breaches & Important Events

Sunday, Jan 18

After a 22-day assault on Gaza in which over 1,300 Palestinians were killed and approximately 9 Israelis were killed, Israel and Hamas each declared a ceasefire. Within several hours, the first breach took place, when Israel killed a Palestinian civilian:

The UN reports: "One Palestinian farmer was killed on the morning of 18 January in Khuza'a east of Khan Yunis following the Israeli-declared cease-fire." 3

Monday, Jan 19

Once again the ceasefire was breached when Israel killed another Palestinian civilian. Palestinian militants did respond, but caused no damage or injuries:

The UN reports: "On 19 January, a Palestinian farmer was killed by Israeli gunfire east of Jabalia. The same day, Palestinian militants fired a number of mortars towards Israel and also shot at Israeli troops still inside the Gaza Strip. No injuries or damage were reported." 4

Wednesday, Jan 21

Israeli naval boats fired at the Gaza coastline, causing some damage.

IMEMC reports: "On Wednesday, the boats fired shells at the coast line, causing damage but no injuries." 5

Thursday, Jan 22

A Palestinian child was wounded by gunfire from Israeli troops, between 4 and 7 Palestinian civilians (fishermen) were injured when they were fired upon by Israel's navy, and a home was set fire by shells from the Israeli navy:

The UN reports: "Four Palestinians were injured on 22 January by a shell fired from an Israeli gunboat off the Gaza coast. The same day, a house was set on fire by a shell fired from an Israeli gunboat. No injuries were reported. Also on 22 January, IDF troops shot and injured a child east of Gaza City near the border." 6

IMEMC reports: "On Thursday of last week, Israeli Navy forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen just off the shore of Gaza City, injuring seven civilians." 7

Saturday, Jan 24

Israeli tanks fired on the border town of Al Faraheen, causing damage to homes and farms. Also, Aid agencies call on Israel to finally open all crossings into Gaza:

IMEMC reports: "On Saturday, the Israeli army opened fire at residents homes and farmlands located in Al Faraheen village located in the southern part of the Gaza strip. Local residents said that Israeli tanks stationed at the borders opened fire at their homes and farms; damage was reported but no injuries." 8

Maan News reports: "A coalition of international aid agencies urged the Israeli government on Saturday to open the Gaza Strip's border to allow vital goods into the territory... The agencies, including Oxfam, Save the Children, and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) held a news conference on Saturday at the intensive care unit of Gaza's Ash-Shifa Hospital to point up an ongoing humanitarian crisis stemming from Israel's blockade." 9

Sunday, Jan 25

Israeli F-16s flew over Gaza, causing schools, government offices, and banks to close and causing Egypt to rapidly evacuate all of its personnel from the Rafah crossing in fear that an attack was imminent.

Haaretz reports: "On Sunday Israeli F-16s flew over Gaza, terrifying people who thought Israel was launching a new offensive. A number of banks, government offices and schools were closed, occupants running to their homes as the Israeli warplanes flew overhead." 10

Maan News reports: "Egypt suddenly and rapidly evacuated its personnel from the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Sunday fearing a possible Israeli airstrike on the Palestinian side of the crossing, Egyptian security sources said." 11

Violence on January 27th

What appears to have happened today is that a remote device was detonated near or under an Israeli patrol near the Kissufim crossing between Gaza and Israel. It is not clear on which side of the border the attack took place. One soldier was killed and three were injured.

(The New York Times is reporting this as "the first serious confrontations between Hamas and Israel since each declared a tentative cease-fire 10 days ago."12 However, there is no indication that Hamas was responsible for the bomb and seems, despite all the Israeli violations, to be pushing for a cease-fire.)

The Israeli military then opened fire on the Palestinian farmland nearby, killing a civilian: a 27-year-old farmer was killed by tank fire.

Israel also closed the crossings into Gaza, denying the entire population (1.5 million) access to desperately needed shipments of food, medicine, and other humanitarian aid.

An Israeli drone fired a missile into the city of Khan Yunis, injuring a Hamas militant on a motorcycle. There are reports that 2 Palestinian children playing nearby were also injured.

It has also been reported that Israeli soldiers occupied a home near the town of Deir Al Balah.


  1. CNN: “Week-old Gaza cease-fire is breached”
  2. UN Office for the Coordinatio of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Field up-date on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator | 22-23 January 2009
  3. UN OCHA: Field up-date on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator | 19 January 2009
  4. UN OCHA: Field up-date on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator | 20-21 January 2009
  5. International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC): “Israeli Army kills a Palestinian farmer near Gaza Israeli border”
  6. UN OCHA: Field up-date on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator | 22-23 January 2009
  7. IMEMC: “Israeli Army kills a Palestinian farmer near Gaza Israeli border”
  8. IMEMC: “The Israeli army opens fire at resident in southern Gaza”
  9. Maan News: “Aid agencies: Continued Gaza blockade will cause crisis to double”
  10. Haaretz: “Egypt evacuates Rafah area, fearing IAF strike on Gaza”
  11. Maan News: “Egypt evacuates Rafah border fearing Israeli airstrike”
  12. The New York Times: “Two Killed in Violence on Gaza Border”

Media Contacts

Most of the media seem to have reported this wrong. You may check your local newspaper and contact it if it reported the story incorrectly.
Below are some national contacts:

Associated Press
Phone: 212-621-1500 (Ask for International Desk or for Corporate Communications)
Fax: 212-621-7523
General Questions and Comments:
Read the AP article

The New York Times
Phone: 212-556-1234
Fax: 212-556-3690
Letters to the Editor (for publication):
Write to the news editors:
New York Times Contact Information by Department
How to Contact New York Times Reporters and Editors
Read the NYT article

Washington Post
Phone: 202-334-6000
Fax: 202-334-5269
Letters to the Editor:
Contact Washington Post Writers and Editors
Read the Washington Post article

Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1784
Email forms for all CNN news programs
Read CNN's article

Phone: 202-513-3232
Fax: 202-513-3329
E-mail: Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, Ombudsman
NPR's article

McClatchey Newspapers
Main Phone: 916-321-1855
Read McClatchey's article

For more media contacts, go to

Israel-Palestine Timeline

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Additional Resources

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Amnesty International – Shielded From Scrutiny: IDF Violations in Jenin and Nablus

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Back to a Routine of Torture – Torture and Ill-treatment of Palestinian Detainees during Arrest, Detention and Interrogation – September 2001 - April 2003

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Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

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