Sunday, 3 August 2014

Child in coma after being shot by Israeli forces near Hebron


HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and seriously injured a Palestinian child during clashes near Hebron on Sunday, medics said.

Hazim al-Shalalda, the directer of al-Mizan hospital, told Ma'an that 11-year-old Moheyeddin Salah Idriss was shot in the chest with a live bullet during the clashes.

The boy is currently in a coma and undergoing a complex medical procedure, al-Shalalda said. more

Israel lied about prisoner-of-war to sabotage ceasefire and kill more Palestinians


From The Electronic Intifada - On Saturday evening, the Israeli army stated that Hadar Goldin, the soldier it claimed Hamas had captured on Friday morning, is dead:
@IDFSpokesperson - A special IDF committee has concluded that Lt. Hadar Goldin was killed in combat in Gaza on Friday. May his memory be a blessing.
It was on the pretext of searching for the missing soldier that Israel slaughtered at least 110 of people in the southern Gaza town of Rafah since Friday morning, destroying what was supposed to be a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire. But the toll is rising as more bodies are found.

“Such was the savagery of Israel’s bombardment in Rafah, such was the quantity of dead bodies, that there was simply no other option but to use vegetable refrigerators as makeshift morgues,” journalist Mohammed Omer, who hails from Rafah, reports.

In one such freezer, Omer saw “the corpses of children, young men and women lying on top of one another, soaked in blood. Many were impossible to identify and only a few have been placed in white burial shrouds.”

One wonders whether US President Barack Obama will now retract his hasty statement – no doubt based on misinformation from Israel – blaming Hamas for capturing the soldier and demanding that he be “unconditionally” released.

Now that Israel has, like Hamas, concluded that Goldin is dead, the question remains whether someone in the Israeli army gave the order to shell Rafah to kill him and prevent Hamas taking a live prisoner. Read on… more

Gaza school attack denounced as 'criminal act' by UN chief


A deadly attack on a school in the city of Rafah in the south of Gaza has been denounced as a "moral outrage" and "criminal act" by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon.

At least 10 people were killed and dozens more wounded after a projectile struck a street outside the school gates on Sunday morning.

The school was sheltering more than 3,000 people displaced by fighting in the area. It has been the scene of heavy bombardment by the Israeli military and fierce clashes following the suspected capture by Hamas fighters of an Israeli soldier, later declared killed in action.

In a statement, Ban called on those responsible for the "gross violation of international humanitarian law" to be held accountable. He said the "Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites."

At the time of the strike – about 10.50am local time – dozens of children and adults were clustered around the gates buying biscuits and sweets from stalls set up by locals.

The missile struck the ground eight to 10 metres from the open gates. Witnesses at the scene less than an hour after the explosion claimed it had been fired from one of the many unmanned Israeli drones in the air above Rafah. more

70 bodies found in Rafah as death toll hits 1,830


GAZA CITY -- The death toll on the 27th day of Israel's offensive on Gaza hit at least 120 on Sunday as health officials reported that over 70 bodies had been recovered in Rafah, a day after the city came under fierce, prolonged bombardment by Israeli forces.

Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma'an that the bodies of 70 Palestinians had been recovered from the city in southern Gaza, while 55 other Palestinians were killed by Israeli attacks across the Strip Sunday.

The continuing attacks brought the total death toll in the assault to 1,830 with nearly 10,000 injured.

Israel began targeting Rafah with airstrikes and shelling Friday, killing dozens in the city hours before a 72-hour ceasefire was to come into place. When the ceasefire collapsed, Israel continued its bombardment on Rafah throughout Friday and into Saturday, killing more than hundred Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Israeli shelling and airstrikes did not let up on Sunday even as ground forces withdrew from major cities in Gaza.

An afternoon strike on the al-Majdalawi family home in Beir al-Naaja in northern Gaza left four dead, two of whom were identified as Mahmoud and Rawan al-Majdalawi.

Additionally, Mohammad Shaldan was killed and two others injured in an airstrike on the al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City. In another attack, a Palestinian was killed in a strike on a car in the Janeina neighborhood of Rafah, which has been hit heavily in the Israeli assault.

The attacks come after Israeli forces shelled a UNRWA school where thousands were taking refuge earlier in the day, killing at least ten. UN chief Ban Ki-Moon condemned the attack as "a moral outrage and a criminal attack."

Al-Qidra identified the victims as Muhammad Abu Rajal, Sami Abdullah Qashta, Sami Ismail Abu Shalouf, Ahmad Khaled Abu Harba, Muhammad Musaid Qashta, Hazem Abd al-Basit Halal, Omar Tariq Abu al-Roos, Ahmad Kamal al-Nahal, Yousef Akram Sakafi, and Tariq Said Abu al-Roos. more

Downtown New York flooded with thousands protesting Gaza war


New York was awash with protesters on Friday, as thousands came out in support of more than 880 Palestinians killed in Israel’s Gaza offensive. There are increasingly deep fault lines between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel supporters worldwide.

Anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 demonstrators flooded the streets around Times Square, with the police keeping a watchful eye on the crowds, who waved Palestinian flags and signs condemning Israel and criticizing US aid to the Jewish state, Reuters reported.

"We're trying to break the siege and end the killing in Palestine. We just want them to live like human beings," said Ramsay Jamal, an American of Palestinian descent, who protested with his eight-year-old son on his shoulders. The child held a banner with the words – ‘Israel, I’m just a kid. Please don’t kill me’, with a child’s hand prints in red paint around the words.

It wasn’t apparent who organized the protests, but the crowd drew people from towns and areas far outside New York City – one resident of Connecticut, a nursing student, talked of her parents fleeing from the Gaza Strip decades ago from what was essentially a military operation just like the one seen today.

"Even though I don't live in that country, the country lives in me," the 21-year-old Raya Karzoun told the news agency.

The situation in New York mirrored the dozens of protests that have been occurring in major cities worldwide since the start of Israel’s military onslaught on Hamas positions almost three weeks ago. more

Egypt says it will increase electricity supply to Gaza


Egypt will increase the amount of electricity it is sending to Gaza from 27 megawatts to 32 megawatts beginning in August, the Palestinian ambassador to Egypt said.

Jamal al-Shawbaki said that Egypt informed the embassy that it will also supply 15 extra megawatts to Gaza Strip and will continue to allow medical and humanitarian supplies into the Strip.

The announcement comes after Israel bombed Gaza's sole power plant earlier in the week, bringing daily electricity availability down from around eight hours a day to two, and even none in some areas.

Although Gaza authorities can afford to buy electricity, Israel limits their ability to actually do so. more

Fresh Israeli shelling kills 10 in UN shelter for displaced in Rafah


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- 10 Palestinians were killed on Sunday after Israeli shells hit a UN school in Rafah where thousands of people were sheltering from the ongoing Israeli offensive.

At least 30 were injured in the strike, according to Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra.

Separately, a spokesman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said initial reports suggested there had been a shelling near a school housing almost 3,000 people.

The strikes brought Sunday morning's death toll in Gaza to 47, as Israeli forces have pounded the besieged coastal enclave relentlessly by land, sea, and air. More than 1,749 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its assault.

Israel has shelled UN shelters for the displaced at least six times so far since the conflict began four weeks ago, killing dozens. more

37 killed in Israeli airstrikes and shelling on Gaza Sunday morning


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes and shelling killed 37 people across the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, as the 27-day assault on Gaza showed no signs of ceasing despite Israeli moves to redeploy outside of urban areas the day before.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said that the 37 dead since midnight -- which includes 10 members of a single family in Rafah -- brought the total death toll to 1,739, with nearly 10,000 injured and a quarter of the total population of 1.8 million displaced.

The 10 family members were killed during an Israeli air strike on the al-Ghoul family home in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra identified nine of the victims as Muhammad Ismail al-Ghoul, Wael Ismail al-Ghoul, Ismail Muhammad al-Ghoul, Ismail Wael al-Ghoul, Khadra Khalid al-Ghoul, Asmaa Ismail al-Ghoul, Malak Wael al-Ghoul, Mustafa Wael al-Ghoul, Hanadi Ismail al-Ghoul. more