Sunday, 24 August 2014

Mother killed in her home with 4 of her children, 89th family wiped out by airstrike

On Sunday afternoon, the Juda’ family became the latest casualties of the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza. They are the 89th Palestinian family since July 8th to have been murdered in their home by an Israeli airstrike which killed the whole family, except for one son who was critically wounded.

The family members killed in the airstrike were identified as: Tasneem Essam Juda’, the mother of the family, and her children: Rawiya Juda’
Raghad Juda’
Osama Juda’
Mohammad Juda’

The ages of the children have not yet been made public, but there are several children among them – one of whom whose head was torn in half by the blast, and others whose bodies were badly mutilated and torn in several pieces.

The only family member who survived the massacre is Thaer Juda’, a young boy, who remains in critical condition at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. more

IOF cracks down on peaceful protestors in Beit Ummar, scores injured

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Scores of Palestinian citizens sustained serious wounds on Sunday in the round of clashes that burst out in Beit Ummar village, north of al-Khalil, as Palestinian peaceful pro-Gaza demonstrators denounced Israel’s swelling terrorism on besieged Gaza.

Large numbers of Palestinian civilians were treated for critical breathing problems as they inhaled tear gas heavily discharged by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on hundreds of Palestinian students at the main entrance to the village, activist Muhammad Awadh told the PIC.

Palestinian youth activists declared the first day of the academic year “a day of anger” staged in protest against Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Renewed clashes burst out between hundreds of Palestinian citizens and the IOF in Bab al-Zawiya and the southern suburbs, in al-Khalil city, as Palestinian non-violent demonstrators voiced their condemnation of the Israeli genocides against Gaza children.

The IOF unleashed tear gas canisters, rubber bullets, and live ammunition, targeting Palestinian civilians, vehicles, and commercial stores all along the clashes.

Israeli occupation snipers deployed at Palestinian houses’ rooftops overlooking Bab al-Zawiya. The IOF further cordoned off the nearby al-Shouhada Street.

Israel’s assaults on al-Khalil culminated in a decision to close down the Ibrahimi Mosque before Muslim worshippers on Monday. more

Video: the moment Israel destroys 12-story residential building in Gaza City

In what many Palestinians are calling “Gaza’s 9/11,” Israeli warplanes today destroyed the 12-story “Zafir 4” residential tower in Gaza City’s Tal al-Hawa neighborhood.
This video captures the moment. It appears that the building was struck by two missiles.

The tower was part of the Zafir complex and housed almost fifty families. Residents had reportedly received warnings to leave the building, but medical officials said 17 people were injured, four of them children. more

Netanyahu says Gaza offensive will continue as 13 killed in Gaza

GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel's Gaza offensive would continue as long as necessary, a day after an Egyptian call for a ceasefire and new truce talks.

Israeli air strikes killed 13 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave on Sunday and injured dozens more, bringing the total death toll to 2,111. The United Nations says 70 percent of the Palestinian victims were civilians, and that among the dead have been 478 children.

"Operation Protective Edge will continue until its aims are achieved ... it may take time," Netanyahu said of the offensive launched on July 8.

As of Sunday afternoon, Israel had carried out 27 strikes while 50 rockets were fired from Gaza, 47 of which hit Israel, an army spokeswoman said.

Five Palestinians were killed Sunday afternoon including three children when an Israeli airstrike hit a house in the Tal al-Zaatar neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll since midnight to 13.

Witnesses told Ma'an reporter that an Israeli missile hit a house without any warning, killing five members of the family. more

Palestine supporters block Israeli ships in Washington and Los Angeles

Following a four-day long port blockade action in Oakland, California, in which activists delayed and blocked an Israeli ship from unloading its goods, Palestine supporters in Tacoma, Washington and Los Angeles, California have continued the action on Friday and Saturday by blocking two ships from the Israeli Zim line.

The activists are following a call from hundreds of Palestinian civil society groups to boycott Israeli goods, as part of a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions aimed at pressuring Israel through economic means to comply with its obligations under international law, and end its attacks and discrimination against the Palestinian people.

Protesters coordinated their actions with the start and stop times of the shifts of dockworkers, most of whom are unionized with the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse workers Union). They hoped that, by forming a picket line in front of the port entrances, they would be able to create a situation in which the unionized workers would be able to say that crossing the picket could endanger their safety. If that condition exists, the union workers are permitted to go home without carrying out the work of unloading the ship.

This happened on a number of the shifts during the four-day long blockade in Oakland and, apparently, occurred for several of the shifts at the port of Los Angeles and the Port of Tacoma as well. The ships only have a few days in which they can remain in port in order to keep their schedule, so, there is a good possibility that, because of the delays and ‘health and safety’ issues, many of the goods on the ships were not unloaded at all.

Among those participating in the port blockade in Tacoma, Washington are the parents of the late Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003, at the age of 23, while standing in front of a Palestinian doctor’s home to try to stop the Israeli military from demolishing it. more

Israel's new madness: 2 high-rise buildings levelled, many homeless and injured

Two multi-storey buildings in Gaza have been completely destroyed by Israeli air strikes in less than 24 hours, possibly signalling a new tactic in Israel’s military campaign.

A 12-storey apartment building in Gaza City was brought down on Saturday evening and a seven-floor office building in Rafah was razed early on Sunday.

The hits followed warnings by the Israel Defence Forces, in leaflets, text messages and automated phone calls. The text of a leaflet dropped from aircraft said: “The IDF intends to attack terrorists and terror infrastructure across the Gaza Strip … Israel is currently attacking, and will continue to attack, every area from which terror activities against Israel originate. Every house from which militant activity is carried out, will be targeted. For your own safety, prevent terrorists from utilising your property for terror agendas, and stay away from every site in which terrorist organisations are operating.”

It was signed “Beware – Israel Defence Forces”.

In the Gaza City strike a huge fireball followed by a black column of smoke rose into the sky after two Israeli missiles toppled the Zafer Tower, one in a group of several highrises in the area. Neighbouring buildings shook from the blasts.

The Israeli military said the missiles targeted a Hamas operations room in the building but did not explain why the entire tower with 44 apartments was brought down.

Gaza police said a warning missile had been fired five minutes earlier and some residents were able to rush out of the building in time. But 22 people were wounded, including 11 children and five women, according to Gaza hospital officials.

Maher Abu Sedo, an area resident, said the two strikes came within seconds of each other.

“The state of Israel has resorted to madness. In less than a minute 44 families have become displaced … They lost everything, their house, their money, their memories and their security” more

2 Palestinians dead in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes overnight Sunday and dozens more wounded as Israeli bombardment on the Gaza Strip continued for the 48th day, while rockets fired from Lebanon and Syria into Israel threatened to escalate the conflict.

The airstrikes early Sunday on Gaza brought the total death total in Israel's massive assault to 2,105 with more than 10,500 injured, as the United Nations said that more than 460,000 Palestinians were still displaced and living in shelters across the densely packed coastal enclave.

Witnesses said that Israeli aircraft targeted a group of people near the Fayrouz Towers in northwestern Gaza City, killing two and injuring 10.

Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the two casualties as Badr Hashim Abu Mnih and Yahya Abu al-Omareen, both in their twenties. They were taken to al-Shifa Hospital.

Israeli aircraft also struck the largest commercial center in the southern city of Rafah, completely leveling a building with dozens of shops, two weeks after an office in the same building was hit.

In western Gaza City, an Israeli airstrike hit the home of the al-Ghulayni family. No injuries were reported in the first strike, but a second strike that occurred soon after left six injured after it struck a crowd that gathered to survey the damage.

An Israeli airstrike also targeted a house in the al-Barka neighborhood of Deir al-Balah without warning, leaving a number injured, in addition to a home in the al-Maghazi refugee camp which was also destroyed. Another Palestinian was injured after an Israeli airstrike hit the Beit Lahiya sports club.

Israeli aircraft also launched dozens of air strikes on agricultural lands and open areas in different regions of the Gaza Strip.

Early Sunday, meanwhile, the Israeli military said five rockets from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no reported injuries.

The military said a few hours earlier that a rocket fired from Lebanon struck the Upper Galilee causing damage to a structure, with a security source telling AFP it hit a Druze village. more