Gaza death toll at 573 as Israel bombs homes, hospital

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A man looks towards a UN school as he leads with his displaced family from the northern Beit Hanoun district in the Gaza Strip towards a UN school in Beit Lahiya where residents have gone fleeing heavy fighting in their area during an Israeli assault on July 21, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Marco Longari)

Published Monday, July 21, 2014

Updated 11:41 pm: Nonstop Israeli jet, tank and naval attacks targeting homes and a hospital killed at least 56 people in Gaza Monday, bringing the death toll in a two-week-long assault on the besieged strip to 573.

And the Israeli army said another seven soldiers had been killed in fighting in Gaza, raising the overall Israeli death toll to 27, including 25 troops.

Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said air strikes and shelling killed 56 people across the enclave on Monday, and another 68 bodies were pulled from the rubble in areas hit by heavy fighting a day earlier.

The latest deaths included six people killed in two artillery strikes, three of whom died in the southern city of Rafah and another three in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

A nighttime air strike on a residential tower block in Gaza City killed 11 people, including five children, Qudra said, and a simultaneous strike in the central Strip killed another.

Of the 56 people killed on Monday, around a third of them were children, Qudra said.

Seven children were among nine dead in an early air raid on a house in Rafah, and another four children were killed in another strike on a house in Gaza City that killed nine people.

And Israeli tank shells slammed into the third floor of Al-Aqsa hospital in the central Gaza Strip which housed an intensive care unit and operating theaters in Deir al-Balah, killing four people, among them doctors, Qudra said, indicating at least 70 people were wounded.

Other shells had fallen around the hospital, he added, with officials calling on the Red Cross to help evacuate patients.
a hospital.

Another 33 people were killed in a series of air strikes and tank shelling across the strip.

Of the 68 bodies recovered on Monday, 13 were from al-Shujayeh, hiking the death toll from a ruthless Sunday attack to 74. Qudra said the vast majority were women, children and the elderly.

Another 23 of the bodies were pulled from a three-story house belonging to the Abu Jamaa family in the southern city of Khan Yunis which was hit on Sunday, raising the overall death toll from a single strike to 28, Qudra said.

So far, Palestinian figures show 558 Gazans have been killed and more than 3,350 wounded since the start of the Israeli campaign to stamp out cross-border rocket fire on July 8.
__title__A man inspects damages at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, after the building was shelled by the Israeli army on July 21, 2014, killing at least four people. (Photo: AFP - Mohammed Abed)

Later, Israeli war jets bombed the Qassas family home in the center of Gaza City, killing nine relatives, including four children.

Residents reported heavy fighting in al-Shujayeh and the adjacent Zeitoun neighborhood near Gaza City. Three were killed in al-Shujayeh.

Locals also said there was heavy shelling in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip.

"It seems we are heading towards a massacre in Beit Hanoun. They drove us out of our houses with their fire. We carried our kids and ran away," said Abu Ahmed, he did not want to give his full name for fear of Israeli reprisals.

"It was a night of horror," the 50 year-old told Reuters.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA has opened 61 of its schools to shelter more than 81,000 people who have fled their homes.

The Doctors Without Borders charity urged Israel to "stop bombing civilians trapped in the Gaza Strip", noting the majority of the injured arriving in the Al-Shifa hospital were women and children.

Israel kills 10 Hamas fighters

Meanwhile Israeli occupation forces killed 10 Palestinian fighters who had infiltrated Israeli occupied territory, with the army announcing it had lost four soldiers in that battle.

Two groups of Palestinian fighters crossed from Gaza via two tunnels in the early morning, opening fire as they entered.

Black and white surveillance footage supplied by the occupation forces, showed one group of five or six men crouching and firing in long grass. Seconds later they were hit by a large explosion, which sent a cloud of smoke and debris flying into the air.

Both Hamas and Israel said that 10 Gaza fighters were killed in the operation.

It was unclear if the four occupation forces killed in that operation were among the seven announced dead earlier Monday.

Hamas "captures" Israeli soldier

Late Sunday, the armed wing of Hamas said it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City and West Bank cities.

"The Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades," a spokesman using the nom-de-guerre Abu Obeida said in a televised address.

Israel's UN ambassador Ron Prosor denied a soldier had been kidnapped, saying: "Those rumors are untrue."

A spokeswoman for the Israeli military said they were investigating the claim.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

Hamas is a cancer to the people of Gaza

We know that Israelis uses laser guided bombs, I keep wondering why would they target a beach, why would they target a hospital? I know everyone will say I am an Israeli supporter but I haven't seen anyone with a piece of metal from an Israeli bomb.In some of these instances could it be The Palestinians misfiring, or propaganda firing of rockets at fault?

I think what there doing to these kids is so wrong how would they like it if I murdered there kids and got away with it it so wrong its OK throw for u guess to bomb us but if u shoot u were terrist no not cool

what is really stupid is that Hams has told those people to stay in place. Those are Gaza civilians telling them that. Yes, Hamas is using them as human shields, to get world sympathy. The adults keeping their kids there, when there are lots of places to go to, makes the adults responsible for the kids deaths. They also were warned to get out. If you won't get out, and you have been warned, you are responsible for what happens to your loved ones. If you love them. A lot of people are fleeing with no shoes on. I would go if I had to, with no shoes, too. Those parents are taking their children out of harms way. They are heeding the warnings. Hitler never gave anyone warning, did he? But, the Jews are giving warning. They even stop to let them get their people out from under the rubble. Remember the two hour cease fire? Does Hamas ever respond to a cease fire? NO! I don't know what we would do if we were bombed by 2,000 Hamas rockets with a Muslim in the WH, right now. Obama will kiss their ass and let them do whatever. Israel and any other country, has the right to protect themselves and their citizens.

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