[News] Detailed Legal Report on Israel’s Khudair Warehouse Chemical Attack on the Gaza Strip

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Sat May 28 11:14:37 EDT 2022


Al-Haq Launches Detailed Legal Report on Israel’s Khudair Warehouse 
Chemical Attack on the Gaza Strip supporting Forensic Architecture 
Investigation
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*Al-Haq Launches Detailed Legal Report on Israel’s Khudair Warehouse 
Chemical Attack on the Gaza Strip supporting Forensic Architecture 
Investigation*

*Date: 28 May 2022*
Al-Haq’s Legal Research and Advocacy Department has released a 
comprehensive legal report, “Khudair Warehouse: Israel’s Chemical Attack 
on the Gaza Strip”. This report builds on the inaugural investigation of 
the newly launched Al-Haq Forensic Architecture Investigative Unit. The 
investigation examines Israel’s targeted attack and destruction of the 
Khudair Warehouse by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) during Israel’s 
widescale May 2021 military offensive on the Gaza Strip.[1] <#_ftn1> The 
IOF attack on the chemical warehouse, created a chemical cloud that 
spread chemical waste over the people and environment of Gaza, poisoning 
the population, amounting to the indirect use of a chemical weapon, 
prohibited under international la
On the 15 May 2021, on the fifth day of the May 2021 offensive against 
Gaza, the IOF attacked the Khudair Agrochemical Warehouse, located in 
the northern Gaza Strip, in the Beit Lahiya area.[2] <#_ftn2> The 
Khudair warehouse was the largest warehouse for agricultural supplies 
within Gaza, housing over 50 percent of agricultural supplies within the 
Gaza Strip and making the warehouse particularly vital for farming 
within the Gaza Strip.[3] <#_ftn3>
At around 5.46 pm, six artillery shells landed on the warehouse over the 
course of several minutes.[4] <#_ftn4> The IOF did not attack with 
explosive shells, but instead used rounds that emitted heavy smoke, with 
the ammunition burning at an intense heat.[5] <#_ftn5> Al-Haq’s Forensic 
Architecture Investigative Unit identified the munition used as the M150 
Smoke HC 155mm ammunition developed by the Israeli weapons manufacturer, 
Elbit Systems.[6] <#_ftn6> By 5.56 pm the plastic stored within the 
warehouse caught fire, starting the major chemical fire that, according 
to field documentation, would release fumes for 22 days.[7] <#_ftn7> 
Following the attack, a chemical plume formed from the fire at the 
warehouse which soon spread over northern Gaza, moving southwes from the 
location of the warehouse, covering an area of around 5.7 kilometres.
Using information gathered by Al-Haq and Al-Mezan field researchers, as 
well as the in-depth analysis of the Forensic Architecture Investigative 
Unit’s investigation, this report explains how through the attack and 
destruction of the warehouse, the IOF acting with knowledge, creating a 
chemical weapon via the destruction of the agrochemical products. The 
report also highlights how the attack violated general principles of 
international humanitarian law and outlines how the attack constitutes a 
number of war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International 
Criminal Court, as well as its contribution to the crime of apartheid 
against the Palestinian people both in Gaza and as a whole.[8] <#_ftn8> 
The report also provides several recommendations to the international 
community, including the United Nations, to help bring Israel to account 
for its crimes against the Palestinian people. The attack on the Khudair 
warehouse, and other industrial targets of a similar nature, indicates a 
direct attempt to use the chemical contents of civilian objects against 
the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip in the form of an indirect 
chemical weapon.
In light of this report and the investigation by the Forensic 
Architecture Investigative Unit, Al-Haq calls on:

  * The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the UN
    Commission of Inquiry to take into particular account Israel’s
    indiscriminate targeting of civilian objects in the Gaza Strip and,
    in the case of the Khudair warehouse, launching an indirect chemical
    weapon attack against the Palestinian people, and to fully
    investigate these violations as war crimes under international
    criminal law;
  * For the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the UN
    Commission of Inquiry to consider attacks on civilian property as
    amounting to war crimes, and evaluate their crucial contribution to
    inhumane acts of apartheid under the Rome Statute and where
    relevant, the Apartheid Convention and international human rights law;
  * To that effect, for the Prosecutor of the International Criminal
    Court and the UN Commission of Inquiry to include Israel’s targeting
    of commercial property into the ongoing investigations, highlighting
    the chemical attack caused and to request a factfinding mission to
    determine the intention of the IOF in targeting facilities such as
    the Khudair warehouse, be it malicious intent or reckless disregard;
  * For Third States to recognize Israel’s unlawful destruction of
    Palestinian property, primarily in Gaza but also across the OPT, as
    a fundamental element that enables Israel to further its colonial
    project in Palestine, and to entrench its apartheid regime over the
    Palestinian people as a whole;
  * For host States to Elbit Systems, including the United Kingdom, to
    act in compliance with their responsibilities under the UN Guiding
    Principles on Business and Human Rights and hold Elbit Systems
    accountable for human rights harms;
  * Additionally, for Third States to stop supplying Israel with
    weaponry and munitions used to commit war crimes, crimes against
    humanity and enforce apartheid against the Palestinian people as a
    whole, particularly in the Gaza Strip but also across the OPT;
  * For the United Nations to exhort Israel to respect Palestine and the
    Palestinian People’s human rights, including the inherent right to
    self-determination;
  * For international civil society to further support the Palestinian
    people’s struggle against Israel’s apartheid regime and colonial
    settler project.

See our full report “Khudair Warehouse, Israel’s Chemical attack on the 
Gaza Strip” here 
<https://alhaq.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=10071401ba4201bc1a4992f68&id=6d5a5639d7&e=08c14cf485>
See Al-Haq’s Forensic Architecture Investigative Unit’s “The Shelling of 
Khudair Warehouse” video here - https://vimeo.com/714467066 
<https://alhaq.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=10071401ba4201bc1a4992f68&id=89464bd26d&e=08c14cf485> 
and press release here 
<https://alhaq.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=10071401ba4201bc1a4992f68&id=7deeef3fa8&e=08c14cf485>
See Forensic Architecture’s investigation “The Shelling of Khudair 
Warehouse: Chemical Warfare by indirect means” here 
<https://alhaq.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=10071401ba4201bc1a4992f68&id=f594bdefb3&e=08c14cf485> 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] <#_ftnref1> Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Al-Haq, and PCHR, 
‘Assault on Gaza in Numbers’, (2022) available at 
<http://mezan.org/en/uploads/files/16442214671081.pdf 
<https://alhaq.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=10071401ba4201bc1a4992f68&id=f523165e2d&e=08c14cf485>>
[2] <#_ftnref2> Al-Haq’s Forensic Architecture Investigative Unit Script 
on file with Al-Haq; Affidavits on file with Al-Haq.
[3] <#_ftnref3> Ibid.
[4] <#_ftnref4> Ibid.
[5] <#_ftnref5> Ibid.
[6] <#_ftnref6> Ibid.
[7] <#_ftnref7> Ibid.
[8] <#_ftnref8>Al-Haq, ‘Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Submit 
File to the ICC, Urge Prosecutor to Open Cases from Attack on 
Palestinians in Gaza in May 2021’ (24 May 2022), available at: 
<https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/20043.html 
<https://alhaq.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=10071401ba4201bc1a4992f68&id=ed2a7927b4&e=08c14cf485>>

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