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Day 18 - High Numbers of Palestinians rushed into UNRWA shelters

January 13, 2009 at 1:20 pm

For the 18th consecutive day, IOF continued their full-scale offensive against the Gaza Strip, targeting civilians and their property in blatant disregard for IHL and under international silence. IOF divided the offensive into stages amidst threats to expand land invasions into centers of towns and densely populated areas. Vast areas of public and private lands were razed, hundreds of civilians were displaced, while others were detained under harsh conditions.

Additionally, IOF arrested many Palestinian civilians and placed them in detention centers at the northern border of the Gaza Strip or in Israeli jails. Various areas throughout the Gaza Strip were subjected to IOF incursion, including the al-Karama apartment buildings and the Aamer housing project in the west of JabalyaThese incursions were conducted amidst intensive gunfire, artillery shelling and clashes with Palestinian resistance activists; 13 activists were killed.

In Gaza City, IOF targeted two hotels; al-Jazeera and Shihab Palace near Gaza Seaport. In Khuza’a village in the southern Gaza Strip, IOF detained Palestinians inside houses amidst oppressive and humiliating circumstances and demolished houses with families inside. High numbers of Palestinians rushed into UNRWA shelters creating a new humanitarian crisis and recalling the tragic era of forcible migration of Palestinian civilians by IOF in 1948.