Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Despite 4-hour ceasefire, Israel kills 5 in shelling on Gaza homes

Despite 4-hour ceasefire, Israel kills 5 in shelling on Gaza homes | Maan News Agency

Published today (updated) 30/07/2014 16:32
An Israeli soldier keeps watch near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip
on July 29, 2014 (AFP Jack Guez)
 
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Despite a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire that began at 3:00 p.m., Israeli forces on Wednesday afternoon shelled a number of homes across the Gaza Strip, killing five.

Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said around 4:10 p.m. that strikes since the ceasefire began had killed five, identifying the dead later as Muhammad Wissam Dardona, Hussam al-Najjas, Hussam Muhammad al-Najjar, Shaaban Abdulaziz al-Jamal and Alaa Judi Khader. Their bodies were received at Kamal Adwan Hospital.

The violation of the ceasefire came after Israeli forces killed more than 70 Palestinians earlier in the day.

Yoav Mordechai, Israel's coordinator of government activities in the Palestinian Territories, said earlier that Israeli forces would stop attacks for four hours starting at 3 p.m.

Mordechai said Israeli forces would only target areas where rockets were being fired at Israel.

An Israeli army statement added that the "humanitarian window will not apply to the areas in which (army) soldiers are currently operating."

"Residents must not return to areas that have previously been asked to evacuate," the statement said, adding the the army would respond to all fire from Palestinian militants throughout the limited ceasefire.

It was not immediately clear whether Palestinian factions would respect the limited, brief truce.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Israel imposed the ceasefire only for "media consumption."

Abu Zohri said the truce was "worthless" given that it excluded parts of the Gaza Strip where Israeli forces were operating.

Earlier in the day, Israeli forces killed over 70 Palestinians, bringing the total number of Gazans killed since the beginning of the offensive up past 1,300.

The deadliest Israeli attack on Wednesday was a shelling on a UN-designated shelter in Jabaliya refugee camp which left at least 16 dead.

Chris Gunness, the spokesman for the UN's Palestinian refugee agency, condemned the attack in a statement made on Twitter.

"UNRWA condemns in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces," Gunness said.

"Precise location of Jabalia Elementary Girls School #Gaza & that it housed 3,000 displaced was communicated to Israeli army 17 times," he said in another tweet.