at a UN school in the northern Gaza Strip refugee camp of Jabaliya
(AFP/File Mohammed Abed)
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas entered its 23rd day, international efforts to bring an end to the bloodshed that has killed more than 1,260 people continued apace, and concern grew over the high civilian death toll, especially among children.
Since the war began on July 8, when Israel launched a campaign to stop rocket fire from Gaza and destroy attack tunnels, a series of concerted international efforts to bring a truce have fallen flat.
On Wednesday morning, an Israeli shell slammed into a UN school being used as a shelter for those displaced by fighting, killing 16 people, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.
Al-Qidra identified some of the dead as Issam Jaber al-Khatib, Said Abu Jalala, Taysir Hammad, Luay al-Feiri, Bassem Khalid al-Najjar, Thair Khalid al-Najjar, Usama Muhammad Suhweil, Bilal Midhat al-Amudi, Muhammad Moussa Ghabn, Adel Muhammad Abu Qamar, Abdullah Midhat al-Amudi, Ramadan Khader Salman, Alaa Khader Salman, Ali Ahmad Shahin, and Rami Barakat.
At least one more victim is yet to be identified.
The bodies were taken to Kamal Adwan hospital in Jabaliya and al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
A UN official confirmed the shelling, saying it hit a bathroom and two classrooms in the school.
The incident occurred after 5:30 a.m., and a couple of hours after Israeli tanks had begun heavy shelling in the area, an AFP correspondent said.
Emergency services workers at the school were carrying out the grim task of picking body parts off the blood-soaked floor of a bombed-out classroom, an AFP correspondent said.
The outer wall of the complex had also been damaged and a number of dead animals including donkeys could be seen lying on the ground.
A UN official told AFP that Israeli shells had hit the building at around 5:30 am.
Those sheltering there quickly gathered their belongings and fled.
The army had been pounding the area with tank fire for an hour prior to the incident, the correspondent said.
The UN official gave a death toll of 16, while Gaza’s emergency services spokesman put it at “dozens” after giving an initial count of 20.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the incident.
It came as a Palestinian delegation prepared for a trip to Cairo to discuss a temporary humanitarian ceasefire.
The West Bank-headquartered Palestine Liberation Organization, which has been at odds with Hamas for years, said it had garnered the Islamist movement’s support for a 24-hour truce, but did not say when that was due to start.
Israel’s government had no comment on the proposal.
President Mahmoud Abbas “was in touch with (Hamas chief Khaled) Mashaal yesterday and today. He proposed the 24 hour truce, Mashaal and Hamas agreed”, senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath told AFP on Tuesday.
International efforts have focused on getting Israel and Hamas to agree to a temporary humanitarian ceasefire, and then extending that truce for a longer period while they intensify efforts to end hostilities altogether.
But apart from a fragile halt on Saturday after which hostilities picked up with renewed vigour, efforts have failed.
Children paying the price
Heavy Israeli bombardment of Gaza overnight Monday to Tuesday killed scores of Palestinians after they marked the beginning of the Muslim Eid festival, medics said.
Israel’s aerial, naval and artillery shellings have killed some 1,262 Palestinians in the bloodiest conflict in six years, and the vast majority of Palestinian dead are civilians, according to the UN.
Hamas fire, including thousands of rockets launched at Israel, has killed 53 soldiers and three civilians.
Rights groups expressed growing alarm Tuesday at the number of children victims of the conflict.
The more than 240 children who have died represent at least 29 percent of civilian casualties, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said in a statement, adding that another six children in Israel had been wounded from Gaza rocket fire.
“We see children killed, injured, mutilated and burnt, in addition to being terrified to their core. The consequences run much deeper than previous flare-ups” in Gaza, UNICEF’s Gaza field office chief Pernille Ironside said.
Meanwhile world efforts to stop the fighting continued, but with neither side apparently willing to concede.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked for fresh help from America in trying to broker a ceasefire.
“Last night we talked, and the prime minister talked to me about an idea and a possibility of a ceasefire. He raised it with me, as he has consistently,” Kerry said Tuesday.
The top US diplomat added that Netanyahu had said he “would embrace a ceasefire that permits Israel to protect itself against (Palestinian militants’) tunnels and obviously not be disadvantaged for the great sacrifice they have made thus far.”
There was no Israeli government comment.
PLO secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo said after consultations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two main militant groups in Gaza, that there was “willingness for a ceasefire and humanitarian truce for 24 hours.”
Hamas said so far it had not agreed to any new truce and was waiting for Israel to show its hand first.
“When we have an Israeli commitment … on a humanitarian truce, we will look into it but we will never declare a truce from our side while the occupation keeps killing our children,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Facebook.
As both sides appeared more determined than ever to keep up the fighting, the hostilities have pushed more than 215,000 people to flee their homes in the overcrowded territory, according to the World Health Organization.
Ma’an staff contributed to this report.
81 Notre Dame Law Review1275(2006). Conducting an in-depth study of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and also discussing other genocides, this article details the inadequacy of many of the international community’s response to genocides, such as “targeted sanctions” or international peacekeeping forces. Examining international legal authorities such as the Genocide Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Court of Justice, the article demonstrates that groups which are being subjected to genocide have a legal right of self-defense. International treaties, Security Council arms embargoes, or national gun control laws cannot lawfully be enforced in a manner which prevents self-defense resistance to a genocide in progress, because under international law, the prohibition against any form of complicity in genocide takes legal precedence over lesser laws. With Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen. In PDF.
For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:
The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine
- Special Topic – All Israeli Massacres on Palestinians
- iRemember… – Confirmed Names of Martyrs Occupation 2011 *
- Special Topic – Ethnic Cleansing
- Israeli escalation in Gaza – A “cover-up for settlement activity
- UN: Israel killed 2,300 & injured 7,700 people in Gaza in 5 years – Source
- The Palestinian Right of Self Defense
- Brayer: The Absolute Right of Palestinian Resistance – Source
- No. Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory – Source
MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT THE ROCKETS FROM GAZA
- The “Rocket” from Gaza Myth – Photography
- More facts about the Rocket from Gaza Myths – Storify
- Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Israel and #Gaza: Context Behind Projectile Fire ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Truths and lies behind Israel’s attacks on Gaza and its whining about rockets ~ by @AliAbunimah
- Israel is not looking for peace. Nor talks. But: This
- March 23, 2012 | Gaza Siege Harshness Continues. Israel’s committing slow-motion genocide ~ by Stephen Lendman
- March 18, 2012 | A “Leaflet” to the World about it’s own “forgotten” Extermination Camp called Gaza
- Sept 5, 2013 | “Slow Death” -International report says collective punishment of Gaza has reached critical stage – Incl Full Report PDF
Click on the thumbnails to view the full albums
Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks
انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون
May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar
* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.
Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.
How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.