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Day 20 - A law unto themselves - IOF increase pace of destruction in Gaza

January 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm

IOF continued their full-scale offensive on the Gaza Strip. In the northern Gaza Strip, IOF artillery shelled the vicinity of the Ministry of Education to the north of Sheikh Zayed Housing Town. Five civilians (two women and three children) were killed as a result. Additionally, IOF artillery targeted members of the al-Na ‘ouq family in al-Juron area in the east of Jabaliya town.

Four civilians, including a father and two of his sons, were killed. IOF warplanes also fired a missile at three Palestinian resistance activists near al-Karama apartment buildings west of Jabalya, killing all of them. At least 40 IOF military vehicles moved into the east of Beit Hanoun town. They isolated al-Ferta and al-Nazzaza areas and called through megaphones on at least 20 families living in the area to leave their houses. In Gaza City, IOF targeted a group of civilians near the Islamic Compound in al-Sabradistrict. The targeted civilians were fleeing their houses in al-Sabra neighborhood after being attacked. As a result, 4 civilians were killed. IOF artillery targeted a house belonging to ‘Adel al-Jadba in al-Tufah neighborhood northeast of Gaza City. Three of al-Jadba’s children and a fourth civilian were killed.

An IOF helicopter gunship bombarded the office of the Holy Quran Radio on the tenth floor of the Palestine building in al-Remal neighborhood in the center of Gaza City. The Gaza Information Center, located on the seventh floor of the al-Shorooq building in al-Remal neighborhood in the center of Gaza City was intensely shelled; the building contains the offices of Abu Dhabi satellite channel,  Sky News.

IOF shelled the UNRWA headquarters in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood; some of the munitions contained white phosphorous.

As a result, the meeting hall, warehouses and a number of vehicles were heavily damaged. An IOF tank also fired a shell at civilians trying to flee the al-Saleh building; four civilians from the al-Haddad family, including a child, were killed and one was wounded. The bodies of three members of the al-Qerem family were brought to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City; the civilians were killed when IOF fired an artillery shell that landed on their house in al-Sabra district in Gaza City. IOF tanks shelled al-Hedaya Mosque in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood and al-Sahwa Mosque in al-Sena’a Street. The minaret of al-Hedaya Mosque was destroyed and the al-Sahwa Mosque was also damaged. IOF also fired artillery shells at Balqis Secondary School and the Rosary Sisters School.

IOF began to launch attacks on buildings within the compound of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). IOF fired an artillery shell at the al-Quds Hospital pharmacy that belongs to the PRCS. Several hours later, IOF continued their attacks and air raids on the PRCS compound, a vital medical establishment in Gaza. The al-Quds Hospital and other PRCS buildings were subsequently set alight as a result of the use of white phosphorous, the ambulance and Emergency building, the Folklore Center, the Conferences Center and other PRCS buildings were damaged. IOF attacks also completely destroyed a number of PRCS ambulances.

In the evening, IOF extra-judicially executed Sa’id Siam, a senior leader of Hamas, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Minister of Interior in Gaza. The attack also killed Siam’s son, brother, sister-in-law and nephew, as well as 5 members of the Eslim family. In the southern GazaStrip, IOF tanks positioned at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip shelled Palestinian residential and agricultural areas in al-Qrara, ‘Abassan and Khuza’a villages, east of Khan Yunis. IOF warplanes also dropped 3 incendiary bombs, believed to be white phosphorous, at the vicinity of the College of Science and Technology. In Rafah, IOF warplanes bombarded al-Abrar Mosque in al-Shaboura refugee camp.

The death toll of Palestinians on this day was 94, including 65 civilians; 18 children and 7 women. This number includes also 7 Palestinians who died of wounds they had sustained earlier during the offensive.