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Day five of Israeli offensive most violent so far

February 17, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Israeli forces killed 29 Palestinian civilians and wounded at least 100 others during the fifth day of operation “Pillar of Cloud” against the people of the Gaza Strip. The dead included 11 members of the same family who were killed when an Israeli bomb was dropped on their house.

As they intensified the scale of their offensive, the Israeli forces changed the focus of their bombing missions, which were multiplied at least three-fold. Houses, businesses and government facilities replaced farms and empty land as targets.

Prominent amongst them was the twelve-storey building containing the main office of Al-Quds Satellite Channel as well as a number of local, national and international media organisations, including Sky News. Six staff members were wounded, including one who subsequently had his leg amputated.

The Israeli attack on the home of the Al-Dalou family in Al-Nasr district of Gaza City killed eleven people. Four women – one of them 80 years old – and four children were among the dead.

In another attack against a civilian target, a fresh water tanker being pulled by a truck was hit in Jabaliya in northern Gaza. The driver, Zohair Hamada, and his son were both killed. The Israelis also killed two motorcyclists to the west of central Gaza City.

At around 2am on Monday, an Israeli warplane attacked a residential building in Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood, one of the most densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. Four members of the Abu-Zour family were killed.

That was one of several attacks against residences which took place during the night along the length of the Gaza Strip, from Rafah in the south to Beit Hanoun in the north. The attacks resulted in a number of fatalities and injuries. Israeli media reports quoted Israeli officials saying that they only attack houses belonging to Hamas militants, but the facts show that that is far from the truth.

On Monday morning, the Israeli navy targeted government facilities, bombing the former security compound of Al-Saray, which was completely destroyed during the 2008/2009 war, as well as the Palestine Stadium, the main sports club in the Gaza Strip. Fifteen month-old Rawa al-Shindi, was killed in the naval bombardment and a 76 year old woman received head injuries.

The death toll has now reached 84, with more than 700 people wounded. The Minister of Health in Gaza, Dr. Mofeed al-Mokhallalati, said that more than half of those killed, and more than 60 per cent of those wounded, are children and women.

Hospitals and medical centres in Gaza continue to suffer severe shortages of medical equipment, disposables and medicines. Dr. Al-Mokhallalati, who studied in the Republic of Ireland, appealed to the whole world to stop Israel’s massacre of civilians and to supply Gaza with basic medical supplies as a matter of urgency.