Palestinian armed groups have launched about 8000 rockets and mortars into southern
Israel since 2001 (Chapter XIII). While communities such as Sderot and Kibbutz Nir-Am have
been within the range of rocket and mortar fire since the beginning, the range of rocket fire
increased to nearly 40 kilometres from the Gaza border, encompassing towns as far north as
Ashdod, during the Israeli military operations in Gaza.
Since 18 June 2008, rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have killed 3
civilians inside Israel and 2 civilians in Gaza when a rocket landed short of the border on 26
December 2008. Reportedly, over 1000 civilians inside Israel were physically injured as a result
of rocket and mortar attacks, 918 of which were injured during the time of the Israeli military
operations in Gaza.
The Mission has taken particular note of the high level of psychological trauma suffered
by the civilian population inside Israel. Data gathered by an Israeli organization in October 2007
found that 28.4% of adults and 72-94% of children in Sderot suffered from Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder. 1596 people were reportedly treated for stress-related injuries during the
military operations in Gaza while over 500 people were treated following the end of the
The Mission has determined that the rockets and, to a lesser extent, mortars, fired by the
Palestinian armed groups are incapable of being directed towards specific military objectives and
were fired into areas where civilian populations are based. The Mission has further determined
that these attacks constitute indiscriminate attacks upon the civilian population of southern Israel
and that where there is no intended military target and the rockets and mortars are launched into
a civilian population, they constitute a deliberate attack against a civilian population. These acts
would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity.