Four children killed in Israeli shelling of Gaza beach

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A Palestinian boy stands next to his donkey outside a UN school where he and his family took refuge in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya early on July 16, 2014, after evacuating their house. (Photo: AFP - Mohammed Abed)

Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Updated 7:08 pm: Four children were among several killed in new Israeli air, naval and tank strikes in Gaza on Wednesday, medics said, bringing the death toll from Israel's assault in the besieged Palestinian territory to 213.

In the latest attack, four children were on a beach when Israel shelled them from the sea, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, with several injured children taking refuge at a nearby hotel where journalists were staying.

Qudra added that the four boys - two aged 10 and the others 9 and 11 - were from one family. Another child was critically wounded during the beach attack.

Ahmed Abu Hassera, who witnessed the incident at the shore, told Reuters: "The kids were playing on the beach. They were all ... under the age of 15."

"When the first shell hit land, they ran away but another shell hit them all," said Abu Hassera, whose shirt was stained with blood. "It looked as if the shells were chasing them."

Before that attack, witnesses told AFP a missile struck a car in the southern city of Khan Younis, with emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra confirming three people had been killed and another five wounded.

Also, a strike on a house in the southern city of Rafah killed two men, Qudra told AFP, and a separate raid killed a young man.

Further Rafah strikes left two men dead, Qudra said, while a raid on the home of Mohammed al-Arjani in the southern city of Khan Younis killed his son Abdullah, 19.

About an hour later, Israeli tank fire from outside Gaza hit the eastern part of Khan Younis, killing one person, Qudra said, later adding that another man was slain there, 33-year-old Mahmoud Abu Dakka.

Some of the first raids on Wednesday morning targeted homes of senior Hamas officials, including Mahmoud al-Zahar, but there were no reports of casualties.

Reacting to the attack that killed four children, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told reporters in Gaza: "These crimes will not succeed to break our will. We will continue the confrontation and resistance and we promise (Israel) will pay the price for all these crimes."

The latest attacks come as the Israeli occupation army warned some 100,000 Palestinians in the eastern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes, military sources said Wednesday.

AFP correspondents saw flyers dropped over the Zeitoun neighborhood southeast of Gaza City, and residents there and elsewhere also reported receiving recorded phone and text messages urging them to evacuate by 0500 GMT.

The flyers said that the army would be carrying out "aerial strikes against terror sites and operatives" in Zeitoun and Shujaiya, since "a high volume of rocket fire at Israel" was from there.

A similar message was sent to residents of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.

"The evacuation is for your own safety," the leaflet read, warning residents to not return to their homes until further notice.

Similar messages had been sent to Beit Lahiya with a Sunday deadline, causing the exodus of 17,000 people who took shelter in United Nations schools.

Maher Abu Saa'ed, a 45-year-old doctor in Zeitoun, said that with many areas of Gaza under attack, nowhere was safe and he would not leave despite a telephoned Israeli warning to get out.

"To ask hundreds of people to leave their houses and go to the center of the city is insane, a sick joke," he said.

Gaza's Al-Mezan Center for Human rights said 259 houses had been demolished by Israeli air strikes and 1,034 damaged along with 34 mosques and four hospitals.

An Israeli official said the defense minister asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet to authorize the mobilization of another 8,000 reserve troops. The military has said that around 30,000 reservists have been called up since the Israeli offensive began a week ago.

Tuesday saw Israel's first fatality, when a man died from a rocket attack near the Erez border crossing.

Four Israelis have been seriously wounded by rocket fire, and Israel's air strikes have injured more than 1,500 Palestinians.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

this was witnessed by international journalist.. stop your shameless defense Isreali's-brain washed followers.. you will get the tast of this soon

When clearly Israel killed the children, why are previous comments trying to deflect the issue? Are they blind to the truth or pretending to be blind?
Some people are really blind to the truth: Israel's propaganda is taken as truth and vice versa.

i would never trust any news of israeli fatalities or property damage. 1000's of rockets and no property damage, and now (suspiciously) one israeli death supposedly on a street crossing? it boggles the mind.

Another bullshit of the Palestinian propaganda . the children killed from a hidden tnt that was buried in the beach by hamas against future invasion of IDF . another example of how hamas killing his own civilians

Seems that the killing was directed by Hamas to get some credit for their deadly actions !!!

May GOD forgive those responsible for this 'slaughter of innocents'...PRAY for PEACE +++

Pray for Justice not peace.

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