Fifty-two killed as Israel bombs charity, mosques, homes in Gaza's bloodiest day
Published Saturday, July 12, 2014
Updated 1:30 am: Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed 52 people Saturday, including two severely handicapped women in a care facility, medics said.
The toll made Saturday the bloodiest day yet in the five-day conflict, and hiked the overall toll to 157.
The deadliest strike came in the Tuffah district in eastern Gaza City, where 18 members of the Batsh family were massacred when Israeli jets struck a home and a mosque, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
The target of that attack is believed to have been Hamas police chief Tayseer al-Batsh, who survived the attack, but was reportedly in critical condition.
Among the 18 members of his family killed in the strike were four children identified as Mohammed Issam al-Batsh, 17, Manar Majed Batsh, 13, Qusay Issam al-Batsh, 12, and Anas Alaa al-Batsh, 10.
Fifty others were injured in that attack.
Elsewhere, three people were killed in Rafah in southern Gaza, and one person in Jabalia, in the north of the coastal enclave.
The evening strikes came after defiant fighters in Gaza responded to the relentless Israeli assault by firing rockets towards Israeli occupied territories, including long range armaments that hit Tel Aviv.
Earlier, eight people were killed in raids on Gaza City, central al-Bureij and northern Jabalia.
They included a woman aged 25, and a 16-year-old, Qudra said.
And six men, including two nephews of former Hamas premier Ismail Haniya, were killed in an afternoon strike on the Sheikh Radwan district of western Gaza City.
Aged from 21 to 58, they were sitting outside their homes in the area when the strike hit, eyewitnesses said.
Their deaths followed an early morning strike that killed two women at a charitable association housing the disabled in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.
The women, Suha Abu Saada and Ola Washahi, both had severe mental and physical handicaps, association director Jamila Alaywa said.
Four others were wounded in the attack -- three residents and a helper, she said.
Another three people were killed in eastern Gaza City and three in an attack on the western side of town in early Saturday attacks.
Earlier, Qudra announced the deaths of eight other Palestinians in raids that hit targets including a bank, two mosques and the houses of Hamas officials.
On Friday, the United Nations said 77 percent of those killed in the Israeli raids were civilians.
No Israelis have been killed.