Wednesday, February 26, 2020

At least 32 killed on 23rd day of ‘Operation Protective Edge‘

By Lil Jackson - July 30, 2014
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza]

A medic helps a Shujaiyya resident on July 20. | Photo by  Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters



An Israeli strike on a market in the Shujaiyya neighbourhood of Gaza City killed fifteen civilians Wednesday evening. Medics are still investigating the scene, dozens more are expected to be injured or killed beneath heaps of rubble.


Israeli military shells struck the Abu Hussein Schoool in Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza early Wednesday morning, killing at least 17 people. The school, operated by the UN, was housing hundreds of displaced civilians, according to Ma’an News Agency.


According to a statement released by the UN, the agency warned Israeli forces 17 times that the school was being used to house displaced civilians in an effort to ensure their protection. The last warning being sent at 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening, just hours before the school was targeted.


“I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces,” statedUnited Nations Work and Relief Agency (UNWRA) Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl. 


"They're bombing houses, homes, schools -- there's no protection," Moin al-Athamna, who had been staying at the school, told Ma’an News Agency. According to al-Athamna the people seeking shelter in the school were sleeping when Israeli shells struck at 5.30 GMT on Wednesday. 


“Hamas militants fired mortar shells from the vicinity of the school and [Israeli] soldiers responded by firing towards the origins of fire,” an Israeli military spokesperson told Guardian correspondent Harriet Sherwood.


Over 70 Palestinians have been killed and 110 injured since midnight Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to more than 1,300. According to Haaretz, 53 Israeli soldiers have been killed during its ground offensive in Gaza. Two Israeli civilians and one Thai national have also been killed. 


A four-hour humanitarian ceasefire started at 3pm Wednesday afternoon. According to Haaretz, Hamas rejected the temporary truce on the grounds that it would not in effect in the whole Strip.


Since the ceasefire began Israeli forces shelled a number of homes across the Gaza strip killing five people, according to Ma’an News Agency.


“We have reached breaking point”


UNWRA have released areporton the humanitarian crisis currently befalling Gaza. “We can’t go on, we have reached breaking point,” said UNWRA spokesperson Chris Gunness.


The organization is currently providing shelter for approximately 182, 604 displaced citizens in Gaza. UNWRA also provides food, water, non-food items (NFI) and generators.


“UNRWA is working desperately to meet the needs of a growing population of displaced across the Gaza Strip and to prepare for even further displacement. In a number of areas, all available UNRWA schools have already reached or exceeded maximum capacity,” stated the report. 


Going forward UNWRA’s concern is managing demands for the dwindling resources within the Gaza Strip. The agency has launched an 'emergency flash appeal’ for “$115 million to provide emergency assistance to 150,000 people through its shelters- where food, NFI and psychosocial support are provided- and through health and social service facilities available to those not taking refuge in UNRWA shelters.”


“We have deliberately targeted Israeli military targets while our enemy targets civilians and children"


A video purporting to show a group of Hamas fighters infiltrating an Israeli military post and killing an Israeli soldier was aired on Hamas-affiliated TV station al Aqsa, late Tuesday evening. 


The video, that has not been verified by Israeli military personnel, shows a group of al-Qassam Brigades fighters climb out of a tunnel and enter an Israeli military base before engaging with Israeli soldiers. 


The group claim to have killed 10 Israeli soldiers during the raid. The Israeli military have confirmed that at least five of its soldiers were killed at the Nahal Oz military base on Monday, according to Ma’an News Agency.


Prior to the video’s airing, Muhammed Deif, a commander of the al Qassam Brigades, made a televised statement on al Aqsa TV.


“We have deliberately targeted Israeli military targets while our enemy targets civilians and children. We will not accept any middle-ground solution. There will not be a ceasefire without the stopping of the offensive and a lifting of the siege,” said Deif in the statement.


Israel’s 'Operation Protective Edge’ is set to continue. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated the “need to be prepared for a protracted campaign. We will continue to act with force and discretion until our mission is accomplished.” Ongoing ceasefire negotiations have not come to fruition.

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