Friday, October 23, 2020

“Operation Pillar of Defense” kills 30 Palestinians so far in Gaza

By Editor - November 17, 2012
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza]

On Wednesday, November 14, the Israeli government launched a military offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip, which it called “Operation Pillar of Defense.”

The military attack began with an air strike targeting Ahmad Ja’bari, one of the top leaders of Hamas’ armed wing the Qassam Brigades, who was responsible for coordinating with Israel to maintain a shaky truce by preventing rockets from being fired from Gaza into the neighboring Israeli settlements. As Haaretz pointed out, Ja’bari was Israel’s “subcontractor.”

Ja’bari’s assassination came on the back of a week of intermittent air strikes on Gaza that began last Thursday, which resulted in the death of 11 Palestinians, including five children—three of who were killed while playing football.

The timing for announcing a military operation is reminiscent of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which was launched in the winter of 2008/2009 and resulted in the death of over 1,400 Palestinians and 5,000 more injured. Back then, the offensive began after the US President Barack Obama was freshly elected, and in the run up to the Israeli elections.

Wednesday’s attack on Gaza, for all of the “surgical precision” talk Israeli government officials so tirelessly repeat regarding the nature of their military strikes, also claimed the lives of an 11 month year old baby.

The shrapnel killed Omar Masharawi, the baby son of BBC Arabic correspondent Jihad Masharawi, after an Israeli round hit their home. Jihad’s sister in law, 19 year old Heba, who was pregnant with twins, was also killed.

Speaking to BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar, Jihad affirmed that there was no fighting in his residential neighborhood when his house was attacked.

As the night stretched on, heavy bombing began in the Khan Younis area approximately at 3 am in the morning, with an air strike fired by Israel every 15 minutes until 9 am the next day. 11 Palestinians on the first night were killed, including three children and two women.

The next day, the death toll kept climbing. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) released a press statement citing that one of its employers, Marwan Abu Al Qumsan, was one of the civilian deaths. Abu Al Qumsan taught Arabic at Jabalya’s Preparatory Boys’ School.

As solidarity demonstrations for Gaza were set up around the world, the United States’ reaction was typically one sided and regurgitated.

“We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

“We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence,” he continued.

On the other hand, Egypt recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv, and has not closed down the Rafah border crossing. For the first time, Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, visited the Gaza Strip on Friday where he declared that the aggression from the Israeli side must be stopped.

“What I am witnessing in Gaza is a disaster and I can’t keep quiet,” Qandil said, and affirmed that Egypt will attempt to broker a ceasefire.

A huge explosion rocked the Meghazi refugee camp the same day, killing three brothers and another man at once. The oldest of the brothers, Ahmed Abu Jalal, was Hamas’ field commander.

Long range resistance rockets were fired for the first time from the Gaza strip, reaching the Israeli suburb of Rushion Letsiyon, Tel Aviv. 3 Israelis were killed after a rocket fell on an apartment building.

Palestinian resistance rockets hit Sderot (built on the ethnically cleansed town of Najd), Kiryat Gat (built on the ethnically cleansed village of Fallujah), and Beersheva in the south, while Al-Qassam Brigades announced that they launched a long range missile at the Knesset building in Jerusalem.

By the end of Friday, the total death toll amounted to 30 Palestinians killed, 8 of which are children, 3 are women, and 4 elderly. 270 Palestinians have been injured, including 101 children.

List of the martyrs:

1-Walid Abadlah, 2 years
2-Marwan Abu Al-Qumsan, 52
3- Ramai Hamamd
4- Khalid Abu Al-Naser
5- Habes Mesbeh, 30
6-Wael Al-Ghalban
7- Hicham Al-Ghalban
8- Ahmad Al-Jaabari, 52, Hamas top military commander
9-Mohamamd Al-Hams
10- Ranan Arafat, 5
11-Essam Abu El-Mazzah, 20
12-Hani Al-Kaseeh, 18
13- Ahmad Al-Masharawi, 11 months old
14- Hiba Al-Masharwai, 19
15- Mahmaoud Sawaween, 65
16- Hanin Tafesh 10 months baby girl,
17- Faris Basyouni
18- Tareq Jamal Nasser
19-Oday Jamal Nasser
20- Marwan Abu El Qumsan
21- Ahmad Abu Jalal
22- Ziad Abu Jalal
23- Amjad Abu Jalal
24- Hasan Hamileh
25- Ayman Saleem
26- Khaled Khalil Shayer, 27 years old
27- Walid Abadleh, 4 years old
28- Hasan Hulei, 27 years old
29- Mahmoud Sa’ad-Allah, 2 years old
30- Ismail Qandil

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