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Israeli Shells Hit Second UN School Sheltering Gaza Refugees (TEXT and PHOTOS)


Society & Culture  (tags: world, war, human rights, Israel, Gaza, UN designated shelter, crime, death, ethics, children, humans, news, murder, sadness, safety, society, abuse )

Carrie
- 150 days ago - america.aljazeera.com
"Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a U.N. designated shelter in Gaza," Pierre Krahenbuhl, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) commissioner-general, said in a statement.



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Anteater Ants (105)
Wednesday July 30, 2014, 1:28 pm
shocking
 

Evelyn B. (49)
Wednesday July 30, 2014, 1:35 pm

Israeli shells hit second UN school sheltering Gaza refugees

Busy Gaza market also attacked, reportedly killing at least 15 shoppers and wounding over 100 others
July 29, 2014 11:00PM ET Updated July 30, 2014 2:15PM ET



Israel’s military on Wednesday attacked a second United Nations school packed with sheltering Palestinian refugees and later a busy marketplace, killing scores of civilians and injuring hundreds more in what witnesses called one of the most violent days in the weeks-long offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The market attack occurred during a temporary cease-fire that Israel had earlier declared in areas where it was not conducting military operations.

A U.N. aid spokesman confirmed that tank shells hit the U.N. school in the Jabalia refugee camp at around 4:30 a.m. The explosions tore through two classroom walls, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 90 others.

"Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a U.N. designated shelter in Gaza," Pierre Krahenbuhl, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) commissioner-general, said in a statement.

“Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced," he said.

More than 200,000 displaced Palestinians, many heeding Israeli evacuation orders, have taken shelter in U.N. schools and buildings across the besieged territory.

The U.N. said it had communicated to the Israeli military 17 times before Wednesday’s attack – including once just hours before the fatal shelling – that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians had sought refuge in the school.

It is the sixth time a U.N. school has been targeted by the Israeli military during its latest offensive in the Gaza Strip, and the second time such an institution has been destroyed.

"We have visited the site and gathered evidence," Krahenbuhl's statement said, adding that "our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge. We believe there were at least three impacts."

The Israeli military said it was still investigating the incident, and in a brief statement said Palestinian fighters near the facility had fired mortar bombs and Israeli forces had shot back.

"Earlier this morning, militants fired mortar shells at [Israeli] soldiers from the vicinity of the UNRWA school in Jabalia. In response, soldiers fired towards the origins of fire, and we're still reviewing the incident," a military spokeswoman said.

The White House on Wednesday condemned the school shelling, but did not assign responsibility for the attack to either Israelis or Palestinians.
Shujayea market attack

Hours after Israeli forces attacked the U.N. school, they launched an assault on a busy market in the Gaza Strip town of Shujayea, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 160, Gaza’s Health Ministry said. All those killed and wounded appeared to be Palestinians, many of whom were shopping at the time of the attack. The number of casualties is expected to rise, local authorities said.

The Shujayea market attack followed a separate market attack near Jabalia refugee camp earlier on Wednesday that left six people dead. The latter attack occurred during a four-hour cease-fire that Israel unilaterally declared in areas where its soldiers were not operating

"The humanitarian window will not apply to the areas in which IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers are currently operating," a military statement said. It added that the nearly 250,000 residents displaced by Israel's offensive could not immediately return to their homes.

Many Gazans apparently believing that they were protected by the cease-fire, and had gone to the Shujayea market to stock up on supplies to see them through another night of possible bombardment.

Due to an Israeli attack on Gaza's only power plant on Tuesday, 90 percent of the territory's 1.8 million people were without electricity. In addition to residents' inability to refrigerate food and pump water, the power cut is expected to affect hospitals and sewage-treatment facilities.

Hamas characterized the Shujayea market attack as a "massacre," saying in a statement that Israel was committing "mass murder and deliberate acts of revenge after failing to make military progress" against Palestinian resistance groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israel's weeks-long military offensive in Gaza has claimed the lives of more than 1,350 Palestinians — most of them civilians — according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Israeli fatalities number 59, including two civilians. A Thai foreign worker has also been killed in the violence.
Elusive cease-fire

Israel's limited, unilateral cease-fire came one day after Hamas denied agreeing to a 24-hour truce proposed by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades — Hamas’s armed wing — said there would be no cease-fire until Israel lifts its years-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.

"We will consider a cease-fire when Israel commits to it with international guarantees," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. Hamas has said its conditions for a cease-fire include Israel ending its debilitating economic siege of Gaza, and the release of political prisoners.

As the civilian death toll rises, international pressure on Israel to show restraint has grown. But diplomatic efforts – largely by the United States, Egypt, Turkey and Qatar – have to date done little to lessen both the rate of missile and rocket attacks and civilian deaths.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has agreed to replenish Israel's dwindling supplies of mortar rounds and grenade launchers, CNN reported on Wednesday.

In Hamas' statement on the Shujayea market attack, the group condemned "the lack of action by countries and international organizations" to pressure Israel to halt its attacks on Gazans, and said those who remained silent were "accomplices in the crimes of shedding Palestinian blood."

El Salvador recalled its ambassador to Israel on Wednesday in protest of Israel's actions in Gaza. It was the fifth Latin American country to do so, after Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.

Tens of thousands of protesters in other countries have rallied against Israel's military offensive, with one of the largest such protests taking place in South Africa. Some 40,000 protesters marched there last week, calling on the government to sever ties with Tel Aviv and expel its ambassador.

However, Israelis largely support the operation — believing it is necessary to stop Hamas rocket attacks into Israel. A Tel Aviv University poll published Tuesday found 95 percent of Israel's Jewish majority felt the offensive was justified. Only 4 percent said they believed too much force had been used.

Israel's cabinet on Wednesday voted to continue its offensive in the territory.
 

Evelyn B. (49)
Wednesday July 30, 2014, 1:40 pm
Related video: Israeli fire kills refugees in Gaza UN school
At least 19 die in Jabaliya attack condemned by UN agency as "source of universal shame" that breaks international law.
 

Eleonora Oldani (46)
Wednesday July 30, 2014, 4:34 pm

I just got this in from Gush Shalom's Adam Keller - please help to disseminate this widely - thanks a lot!

~*~*~*~

PEACE BUS [to Gaza] CONTINUES

Friday, August 1, 9am, the Peace Bus will leave Jerusalem, carrying medicines and clothes, as well as flowers, intended for the people of Gaza. Also postcards written by Israelis and addressed to Gazans, trying to bridge the terrible abyss. En route the bus will go through Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheba and visit the Israeli communities on the Gaza border.

Please come on board to make the message of the Peace Bus stronger and to meet people living on the border of the conflict region. Presenting a message of peace in the conflict zone is of vital importance, as is maintaining touch between Israel's center and perphery - to stay together.

Collection of medicines (everyone has some new, unused medicines he or she doesn't need, which can be donated to hospitals in Gaza), money for medicines and clothes started already on Sunday. Contact vmmessage-peacebus@yahoo.com and will make an afford to come and pick up your donation. All donations will be delivered to Gaza by our activists.

Write a postcard with a message of peace for Gaza or if you are far: send the message via email. We need them by the end of the next week. We will translate all messages in English and Hebrew into Arabic.
For Thursday, July 31, 6pm, Jerusalem, is planned DEMONSTRATION at Kikar Safra, (Jerusalem Municipality Square), and decoration of the Peace Bus with flowers

We are ready to come on the 3rd Journey and deliver medicines to the people in Gaza (we start collecting the medicine and the money to buy medicines in order to provided both direct and symbolic support from Israelis to the Gazans during the humanitarian catastrophe). Let's take a one day break, collect energy and start Sunday with some ideas and actions. First things first - we need to contribute ourselves and find foundations supporting our project ...

We just got back from the town of Sderot on the Gaza border, where on our 2nd bus journey we visited families who support peaceful solution of the conflict and were inspired by conversations. We've been also on a our condolences visit to a Bedouin camp next to Dimona, where a part of a rocket fired by Hamas (after the rocket was intercepted, but some shrapnel fell down) killed a Bedouin man and wounded his children. It was a good journey and more will follow. I apologize, folks, that the web-radio broadcasting came short this time, some technical stuff we'll have to learn how to solve.

Our vision is to create the reality where Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace and dignity. We are not offering political solutions nor do all of us have a common political view. We do not have ready recipes. But what we a certain of is that we cannot continue hating, fighting, killing each other. In 66 years of war we could not achieve any permanent solution - we believe that it's time to try a different path.

On the Peace Bus we promote principles of tolerance, understanding and non-violence. People of all religions, colors, nations, genders come together in the loving attitude to see what the media is trying to hide away from us – a true face of the so called "enemy". In the eyes of an Israeli and Palestinian child you will discover innocence and remember yourself once being a child, free from prejudices and hate. In this moment we mourn for all those who perished during this unnecessary and tragic conflict: not just in the current one, but for all the innocents who lost their lives in the war of hatred.

We want to see the perspectives of both sides: suffering of Palestinians and Israelis alike. We are all human beings who happened to be raised as enemies. And this is a real tragedy. We can not live in peace as long as other side is suffering. Therefore, the PEACE IS OUR COMMON GOAL!


Contact:

Amir Harash 054-7689939 amirhara@yahoo.com ,
Dorian Levin 054-4789911 levindorian@gmail.com;
Nomika Zion 054-7689181 nomika@migvan.org.il
 

TomCat S. (231)
Wednesday July 30, 2014, 9:38 pm
While I certainly do not support the firing of missiles from Gaza into Israel, the deaths of over 1,000 Palestinian civilians, compared to the deaths of 3 Israeli civilians, leave no doubt to the identity of the principle aggressor.
 

Carrie B. (318)
Wednesday July 30, 2014, 10:09 pm
I agree TC. Hamas should not fire missiles into Israel, but slaughtering over 1000 Palestinian civilians is unconscionable. It is obvious Israel is trying to annihilate Gaza and it's population.
 

jess b (24)
Wednesday July 30, 2014, 10:47 pm
http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/official-statements/unrwa-strongly-condemns-israeli-shelling-its-school-gaza-serious
 

Eleonora Oldani (46)
Thursday July 31, 2014, 12:06 am
Here are some more info about this horror.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel's stepped up campaign against Gaza's Hamas rulers claimed at least 116 Palestinian lives.

After the strikes near the shopping area in Gaza City, bodies lay scattered in the streets as the wounded screamed for help. "Where is the ambulance?" one man moaned as he lay on the blood-soaked ground.
Some 3,300 Gazans seeking refuge from the fighting had been crammed into the U.N. school at the Jebaliya refugee camp when a series of Israeli artillery shells hit before daybreak, turning a classroom where families had been sleeping into a tragic scene of bloodied clothing, bedding and debris.

Assad Sabah said he and his five children were huddled under desks because of the constant sound of tank fire throughout the night when suddenly mayhem struck. "We were scared to death," he said. "After 4:30 a.m., tanks started firing more. Three explosions shook the school. One classroom collapsed over the head of the people who were inside."

Palestinian health officials said at least 17 people were killed and 90 wounded in the school attack — the latest in a series of strikes the United Nations says has hit U.N. facilities that are supposed to be safe zones in the 23-day-old war.

"Where will we go next?" wailed 56-year-old Aishe Abu Darabeh, sitting dazed outside a classroom after the shelling. "We fled and they are following us." Israel's military said no U.N. facility had been intentionally targeted during Wednesday's operation, but troops had responded to Hamas mortar fire directed at Israeli soldiers near the school.

However, the chief of the U.N. aid agency for Palestinian refugees expressed "anger and indignation" at Israeli forces firing toward a U.N. facility even after being told 17 times, including just hours before the shelling attack, that it was filled with civilians.

"Enough is enough," Pierre Kraehenbuehl told The Associated Press, noting that six U.N. schools have been hit since the fighting began. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the school shelling "outrageous" and "unjustifiable," and demanded an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

"Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children," the U.N. chief said. At least 116 Palestinians were killed Wednesday, including 16 in the shopping area, while the overall Palestinian death toll since July 8 climbed to 1,361, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

The Israeli military said three of its soldiers were killed when a booby-trapped house collapsed after they identified an entrance to a Hamas tunnel inside. In all, 56 soldiers have been killed, as well as two Israeli civilians and a Thai citizen.

Wednesday marked a second day of particularly heavy Israeli air and artillery attacks, at a time when Egyptian cease-fire efforts appeared to be stalling. Israeli media said late Wednesday that Israel's Security Cabinet decided to press forward with the operation.

Egyptian officials, meanwhile, met with an Israeli envoy about Israel's conditions for a cease-fire, including disarming Hamas, according to a high-ranking Egyptian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the delicate diplomatic efforts.

Hamas has said it will only halt fire once it receives guarantees that the Gaza border blockade by Israel and Egypt will be lifted. Rejecting calls for an unconditional cease-fire, Hamas has fired dozens of rockets at Israel each day.

Israel, in turn, has said its forces will stay in Gaza at least until they complete the demolition of more than 30 Hamas military tunnels used for launching attacks on Israel. Brig. Gen. Mickey Adelstein, commander of the Gaza Regional Division, said two-thirds had been destroyed and that it will take "a few more days" to destroy the rest.

Israel says it wants to decimate Hamas' rocket-launching capability, diminish its weapons arsenal and demolish the tunnels. It has launched more than 4,000 strikes against Hamas-linked targets, including rocket launchers and mosques where it says weapons were stored.

Israeli strikes have also hit dozens of homes. Mahmoud Abu Rahma of the Palestinian human rights group Al Mezan said nearly half of the Palestinians killed so far died in their homes. Israeli officials have accused Hamas of using Gaza's civilians as human shields by firing rockets from crowded neighborhoods and putting them at risk in the event of an Israeli counterstrike.

However, Kraehenbuehl, the U.N. official, said Israel must try harder to ensure that civilians are not hurt, especially in Gaza where 1.7 million people are squeezed into a small coastal territory. His agency has opened 80 of its schools to more than 200,000 Gazans fleeing the violence.

"What maybe the world forgets ... is that the people of Gaza have nowhere to go," he said. "So when the fighting starts and they move, it is not as if they can cross a border to somewhere." Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, called Wednesday's deaths at the U.N. school "tragic," but blamed "Hamas's criminal entrenchment within civilian populations and its frenzy to wage war within civilian establishments."

He noted that Kraehenbuehl's U.N. agency has issued three statements about finding weapons in empty schools, presumably stashed there by militants. Kraehenbuehl said the attempt by militants to use the schools is unacceptable, and that the U.N. agency has been transparent about the discoveries.

The White House also condemned the deadly school shelling. The Obama administration is "extremely concerned" that thousands of Palestinians aren't safe in U.N.-designated shelters, White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

The mortar shells that struck the U.N. school were fired from a distance of some 200 yards (meters), said an Israeli military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Hours later, Israeli artillery fire hit a crowded shopping area in the Shijaiyah district in Gaza City, killing 16 people and wounding more than 200 others, Gaza health officials said. "People were in the street and in the market, mostly women and kids. Suddenly more than 10 shells landed," said Salim Qadoum, 26, who witnessed the strike.

"The area now is like a blood bath, everyone is wounded or killed. People lost their limbs and were screaming for help. It's a massacre. I vomited when I saw what happened." Witnesses said a first strike hit a workshop near a crowded market, setting off a fire that sent a large cloud of black smoke billowing into the sky as firefighters and ambulances arrived at the scene. As a crowd gathered, another hit, according to an AP photographer who was nearby.

Al-Kidra, the Palestinian health official, said the shopping area was busy because residents, and many who had taken shelter in the area from fighting elsewhere, thought a cease-fire was in place. The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the strike on the shopping area. However, Israel had earlier announced a "humanitarian window" in certain parts of the territory, though it said it would not halt fire in other areas, including in Shijaiyah.

Scores of wounded were brought to Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, where the emergency room quickly overflowed, forcing some to be treated on the blood-smeared floor.

http://www.mail.com/int/news/world/3013766-deadly-israeli-strikes-hit-un-school-market-area.html#.1258-stage-set3-2
 

Eleonora Oldani (46)
Thursday July 31, 2014, 12:13 am
From the article:

"At least 116 Palestinians were killed Wednesday, including 16 in the shopping area, while the overall Palestinian death toll since July 8 climbed to 1,361."

"The area now is like a blood bath, everyone is wounded or killed. People lost their limbs and were screaming for help. It's a massacre. I vomited when I saw what happened."

"The White House also condemned the deadly school shelling. The Obama administration is "extremely concerned" that thousands of Palestinians aren't safe in U.N.-designated shelters, ..."

Shhhhh - the White House is extremely concerned that their buddies are slaughterig the Palestinian children and civilians by the HUNDREDS per da ... who woulld have thought that this comes to their mind too ... other than protecting 1'000% polit-Israel's ongoing slaughter ...

All that's left for us is to pray - I'll learn how to do this too. May God, Allah and Adonai protect these poor people!
 

Elizabeth M. (68)
Thursday July 31, 2014, 12:37 am
My prayers have been said for all the children. This is a horrific situation - one thing that might help somewhat is for all countries to quit supplying both sides with weapons. I am in no way blaming the Hamas, but they have made a mistake in digging so many underground tunnels from buildings, and Israel has the knowledge of where most are. I fail to understand what either side hopes to gain from all these murderous acts. Thanks Carrie.
 

jess b (24)
Thursday July 31, 2014, 9:17 am
Please sign.
http://org.salsalabs.com/o/301/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16188 https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?slideshow https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/President_of_International_Criminal_Court_Song_SangHyun_Charge_Israel_for_War_Crimes_against_Humanity/?tlQAebb
 

Evanola Davis (83)
Thursday July 31, 2014, 4:55 pm
This is so wrong...it has to end!!!
 

Parsifal O. (102)
Friday August 1, 2014, 12:13 am

Israelis dancing around the Grenades before launching on Gaza
 

Parsifal O. (102)
Friday August 1, 2014, 12:24 am

18 + The Israeli Bombing Orgy

Gaza Downscaled
 

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (44)
Friday August 1, 2014, 2:00 am
Noted. Stop killing! Thanks Carrie.
 

Parsifal O. (102)
Friday August 1, 2014, 6:15 am

Israeli strike kills dozens during Gaza 'ceasefire'
 

Syd Henley (0)
Friday August 1, 2014, 3:16 pm
All that is needed for the Israeli firing and bombing to cease and for the death toll of the ordinary people of Gaza to come to an immediate end, is for the COWARDLY Muslim HAMAS TERRORISTS to stop using the people of Gaza as human shields, stop hiding and firing their weapons from within schools, hospitals and refugee camps, stop their unprovoked attacks on innocent Israeli civilians and start behaving like civilised human beings.
While ever the HAMAS TERRORISTS continue ignore civilised behaviour, the Israeli Defence Force must defend their country and citizens by all means possible. They must seek out and destroy HAMAS TERRORISTS, where ever they are hiding, even if that does mean bombing and shelling schools, hospitals, camps, markets and heavily populated residential areas, with an inevitable loss of human life..
 
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