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Israel shells Gaza hospital; 4 Palestinians killed

July 21, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Four Palestinians were killed on Monday when Israel shelled the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central Gaza Strip, a Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman has said.

“Four people were killed and nearly 20 others injured when Israel shelled the hospital,” spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

He described the shelling of the hospital, located in the town of Der al-Balah, as a “war crime.”

“Israel has crossed all red lines and international norms. What is happening is a crime and a massacre,” he said, appealing to the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene to rescue injured Palestinians and protect medical institutions.

Since July 7, at least 509 Palestinians have been killed – mostly civilians – and more than 3150 injured in unrelenting Israeli attacks on the besieged coastal enclave.

Sunday was the deadliest day yet of Israel’s two-week-long onslaught, with at least 110 Palestinians – including 72 in Shujaya, a residential area of eastern Gaza City – killed by Israeli air and artillery attacks.

Israel’s military operation, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” is the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s third major offensive against the densely-populated Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.