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Day 22 - IOF intensify bombardment and shelling in residential towns and cities

January 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm

IOF continued their offensive against the Gaza Strip for the 22nd consecutive day, attacking UNRWA shelters, as well as medical, civil defense and media crews; white phosphorous continued to be used against residential areas. In the northern Gaza Strip, an IOF warplanes bombarded a water well of the Municipality of Beit Hanoun in Abu Ghazala quarter in the east of Beit Hanoun, and the al-Karama apartment buildings and Taha Mosque in Jabalya.

Effects of white phosphorousIOF shelled the UNRWA School in Beit Lahia using conventional and white phosphorous shells; at least 320 families had taken shelter after fleeing their homes. As a result, fire broke out in a number of classrooms and two children were killed. Another 36 civilians were also wounded, including the mother of the two dead children, who lost her hand and suffered extensive burns. In addition, fire broke out in a number of nearby houses.

Removal of debris and bodies beginsIn the central Gaza Strip, IOF tanks moved into al-Zahra town and al-Mughraqa village under cover of intense shelling. In Rafah, IOF stationed in al-Shouka neighborhood destroyed 9 villas belonging to the Islamic Bank.

The death toll of Palestinians on this day was 22, including 17 civilians; 8 children and two women. This number also includes 3Palestinians who died of wounds they had sustained earlier during the offensive.