Friday, September 22, 2017

Shelling in Gaza continues while Israeli PM Netanyahu tells Israelis to get ready for a “prolonged war”


By Lynda Franken - July 30, 2014
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

 Smoke rises from Gaza power plant after being hit by an Israeli Strike | AP Adel Hana

 

Israeli assaults from air, land and sea in the last 24 hours were considered by Gazans to be one of the heaviest since the start of 'Operation Protective Edge’, according to Al Jazeera correspondent Imtiaz Tyab. 


In a televised announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated the  “need to be prepared for a protracted campaign. We will continue to act with force and discretion until our  mission is accomplished”.


Destruction of infrastructure 

 

Gaza’s only power plant was shut down today as a fuel container caught fire after an Israeli strike. The power plant provided Gaza residents with only a few hours of electricity a day after it was hit in an air strike last week, which reduced its working capacity to only twenty per cent. The plant supplies two-thirds of the Strip with energy. Its director, Mohammed Al-Sharif said that the power plant “was finished” and added that the local fire brigade had a hard time extinguishing the fire because they lacked proper equipment. 


Earlier this morning, the house of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh was shelled. No casualties were reported. Haniyeh was not home at the time but made a statement saying “my house is not dearer than any of the houses of our people. The destruction of stones will not break our will and we will continue our resistance until we gain freedom.”


Other buildings shelled were the finance ministry and the building of Al-Aqsa TV, Hamas’ main broadcasting outlet. 


Innocent victims 


Nine children were killed in Al-Shati Refugee Camp in Gaza when an airstrike hit the compound they were playing in late Monday night. All children were under the age of twelve, the Gaza Health Ministry reports. One adult died and 46 persons were wounded in the attack.


Hamas officials told the Associated Press that the missiles were fired from Israel, and hit the children as they were playing on a swing.  Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri reportedly called the attack a “war crime” and added it was “a result of the silence of the international community.”


The spokesperson from the Israeli military has stated that the missiles were targeted for Israel but hit buildings in the Gaza Strip instead. “Gaza terrorists fired rockets today hoping to kill Israelis. Instead, they hit a hospital & a refugee camp in Gaza”, the spokespersons’ tweetreads.


American criticism


The Obama administration criticized the Israeli government on Monday for critiquing American Secretary of State and peace negotiator John Kerry and leaking a renewed Egyptian ceasefire draft. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki argued that it is “simply not the way allies and partners treat each other”.


Psaki stated that the Israeli critique that the proposal did not include the problem of Hamas tunnels heading into Israel was unfounded, since this was not mentioned in the first Egyptian ceasefire proposal either, which the Israeli government approved. 


When referring to the criticism that Kerry met with the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Qatar to draft up a proposal, Psaki said that “when people are dying, people are living under threat every day, it’s important to engage parties that have influence on Hamas.” 


At least 1,170 Palestinians have been killed during 'Operation Protective Edge’ according to Al Jazeera, most of them civilians. The confirmation of the death of five Israeli soldiers on Monday makes a total of 55 Israeli deaths, among whom three civilians.

 

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