DJ Phatrick


UN School in Gaza Hit By Tank. 40+ Dead.
January 6, 2009, 10:18 am
Filed under: The Isms | Tags:

Al-Jazeera:

Israeli strikes have killed at least 40 people who took refuge inside a UN school in the Gaza Strip, medics have said.

The strike on Tuesday hit a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, in the northern town of Jabaliya.

Medical sources at two Gaza hospitals said two tank shells exploded outside the school, spraying shrapnel on people inside and outside the building, where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge from the Israeli attacks.

The toll quickly rose as rescuers struggled through the rubble.

In addition to the dead, several dozen people were wounded, the officials said.

Doctors said all the dead were either people sheltering in the school or residents of Jabalya refugee camp, in the north of the Gaza Strip.

John Ging, director of operations in Gaza for Unrwa, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said three artillery shells landed near the school where 350 people were taking shelter.

Ging said Unrwa regularly provided the Israeli army with exact geographical coordinates of its facilities and the school was in a built-up area.

“Of course it was entirely inevitable if artillery shells landed in that area there would be a high number of casualties,” he said.

The Israeli military said it is looking into the reports.

Earlier in the day, two people were killed when an artillery shell hit a school in the southern town of Khan Yunis and three people were killed in an air strike on a school in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, medics said.

More than 640 people have been killed and 2800 others wounded in the 11-day operation, most of them civilians.

A top UN humanitarian official has condemned the violence and demanded an investigation.

Widening the operation

The Israeli military also appears to be broadening its assault on the Gaza Strip as heavy artillery fire is reported from the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis.

Palestinian witnesses said Israeli tanks have moved into Khan Younis, the second biggest urban area in the Strip after Gaza City, in what seems to be an attempt to isolate it from Rafah.

Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Gaza, said Khan Younis is strategically significant on several levels – including that Palestinian fighters can fire missiles into Israeli territory from there.

He stressed reporting teams cannot confirm the reports as they are unable to reach the south from Gaza City in the north because the Strip has been effectively dissected by a column of Israel troops.

Mohyeldin also said Palestinian factions had reported that the Israeli navy was attempting to land near the central coastal city of Deir al-Balah – the scene of more intense fighting – on Tuesday.

“There was very intense shelling overnight and people woke to the presence of ground forces in and around Khan Younis this morning,” he said.

Four Israeli soldiers were killed and 24 wounded in battles around Gaza City on Monday night, the Israeli military said early on Tuesday, bringing the Israeli death toll to eight.

Nowhere to hide

Fierce clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters were also reported in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip and two black plumes of smoke could be seen rising over the area.

Fares Akram, a Gaza city resident, told Al Jazeera there was “no safe place in Gaza” as “the Israeli war planes don’t stop dropping bombs and firing missiles into Gaza”.

Akram says his wife, who is nine-months pregnant, is living in fear of going into labour both because of how dangerous it is to leave their home and because “she knows hospitals in Gaza are in chaos”.

He said that while Gazans appreciated demonstrations staged across the Arab world in protest at Israel’s actions in the Strip, most believe that while the US backs the Israeli offensive the assault will continue.

In addition, the humanitarian situation in Gaza – already poor following the 18-month Israeli blockade of the strip that left the territory desperately short of fuel, food and medical supplies – is worsening.

John Ging, the head of Unrwa, said he was “shocked” by “the brutality of the injuries” he had seen during a visit to the Shifa hospital in Gaza.

‘Absence of accountability’

He said: “There are very real shortages of medicine. This hospital has not had electricity for four days. If the generators go down, those in intensive care will die. This is a horrific tragedy here, and it is getting worse by the moment.

Ging described the situation as “the consequences of political failure and complete absence of accountability for this military action” and appealed for political leaders in the region and around the world to “take on the responsibility”.

A number of diplomatic initiatives are under way in the region, with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, visiting Israel and Syria on Tuesday for talks aimed at brokering a ceasefire.

Sarkozy, speaking with Bashar al-Assad, his Syrian counterpart, called on Syria to use its weight to influence Hamas.

“Syria needs to apply its weight to both sides, but in particular to Hamas that the missile attacks stop,” he said in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

“Syria has to convince Hamas to make a choice for peace, reason and logic and that they themselves become the agent of reconciling Palestinians. We have to get to the point where we can solve this problem.

“There are still a few hours left for us to carry on talking, but I am convinced if both sides are prepared to take the first step, the fighting can stop. The images we have seen are unbearable for all of us.

“It is up to each side to make the first step, with help from Europe, Turkey and Egypt… to escape the spiral of violence and replace it with a spiral of peace.”

Israel launched its offensive on the Strip after a fragile six-month ceasefire with Hamas – the Palestinian faction that controls Gaza – ended on December 19.

Both sides blame each other for the failure of the ceasefire, with Israel saying Palestinian fighters breached the truce by firing rockets into southern Israel.

Hamas, and other Palestinian groups, say the truce could not be extended because Israel failed to lift its crippling siege of the Strip.

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7 Comments so far
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this is so far beyond incredibly f*cked up.

Comment by colinresponse

Looking at some of the videos from Gaza, it leaves me speechless. One of these Israel will meet a contender capable enough to teach her a lesson. And remind her that Moses as Jesus might come back and this time he will find her another promise land.

Comment by Joseph Fattal

[…] by the American government is simultaneously frightening, sickening and heartbreaking. The homie Phatty has a great post on this […]

Pingback by Get Up, Stand Up… « COLINRESPONSE

The Arabs have a long history of being liars!

The Israels would not be at war & bombing if the Gazens choice of leaders didn’t keep begging for it with there 4,000+ rockets being launched into Israel for years. The Arabs of the world are not generous to send aid, money, assistance or food to help their hungry fellow man. Israelis have sent hundreds of trucks of food & medical supplies from ISRAEL into Gaza since the start of operations. they are generous. They also allowed hundreds of trucks of international aid safe passage into Gaza. The USA has been the most generous with aid and food to the Gazens for Many, Many, Many, years. The Gazens have been ungrateful & they elected a terrorist group to lead & govern them. The USA tried to help but terrorbag arafat could not ever be satisfied. Yea, he was a big liar to. The Gazens should be less lazy and hunt down and put in jail the criminals that keep launching rockets into Israel. No country would have tolerated more rocket attacks then Israel has. There are videos on the internet that show hamas shooting rockets and mortars from schools and mosques. I don’t know why cnn is unwilling or afraid to air them. I hope they have not recieved money from Arab countries to slant there reporting. The UN (useless nations organization ) did not condemn the 4000+ rocket attacks carried out by hamas into Israel & terrorizing them for years & years. Not to mention the homicide attacks. Why do you think Israel would have to controll the borders ? ITS BECAUSE OF THE hamas ATTACKS.
Thousands worldwide protest the Israelis defending themselves rooting out terror but, MILLIONS WORLDWIDE PROTEST THE ATTACKS PERPETRATED BY hamas. God bless all man kind.

Comment by ALPINE STEVE

It is a joke to say israel cares about Gazans. How can you say that they are generous in offering aid and food when they are indiscriminately bombing everyone and everything? A UN SCHOOL USED AS A SHELTER?! C’mon.
Hamas fights because they are dying, they are hungry. You are wrong in saying israel lets aid into Gaza. It’s called a blockade. You’re just believing US and Israel propaganda. Hamas firing rockets at Israel is like kids throwing stones at well armed riot police. It’s not even about Hamas. It’s about a people’s right to live and eat, which israel is purposely not lettin them do. Even if they kill every member of Hamas, the fighting will never stop as long as isreal continues to oppress Palestinians.

Comment by djphatrick

I can see in the picture that the head and the body was covered to deceive the readers when the victim was actually a Hamas terrorist fighting out of uniform.

“Palestinians also said nine members of the same family were killed in the Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City, six of them children. Three other people were reportedly killed in the strike.” So here, in other words, the three terrorists killed used the six children as human shields and now Hamas is using this six dead children for propaganda.These terrorists are sickening.

Comment by sinnerconman

When did the “human shield” argument become such a main point for Israel supporters? That’s the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever heard. Hamas isn’t killing those children, Israel firepower is. Look, this isn’t about supporting one political faction over another nation state, or supporting one religion over another. This is about an unfair fight which if causing, ultimately, the wiping out of an entire community.

Comment by djphatrick




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