Thursday, October 01, 2020

Another UNRWA school shelled amidst rumors of Israeli army forces partially withdrawing from Gaza Strip

By Lynda Franken - August 03, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

Gaza residents flee the site of an air strike | Photo by Reuters



An UNRWA school in Rafah was shelled this morning in an air strike, causing ten deaths.  The school held almost 3,000 internally displaced people (IDP) according to UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness. He called it “an appalling, unacceptable situation. We are an unarmed organization.” 

Gunness said he wants to wait for the outcome of an investigation on the event, before speculating that it was an Israeli air strike. He added that the Israeli government knew the coordinates of the schools’ location and that it was used as shelter. 


The bombing came after rumors of the Israeli army withdrawing  some of its ground forces. The official Israeli army radio website confirmed yesterday evening that there were “increasing indications that we are nearing the end of the Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip.” A military source told Al Jazeera that the completion of destroying Hamas tunnels was likely to finish “within a day or two”. 


However, Sunday morning started with reports from bombardments in Rafah, Beit Lahiya and Gaza City. Al Jazeera reporter Imtiaz Tyab described: “I have heard consistent sound of artillery shelling in Beit Lahiya, not far from Gaza City – so it would appear that although Israel publicly said it will start scaling back ground operation, it is clearly continuing.”


New truce talks without an Israeli delegation


Senior officials of the Israeli government reportedly said that the Israeli government decided to stop attempts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza through negotiations with Hamas. Instead of seeking a truce, “Israel will consider ending the operation and retreating from the Gaza Strip unilaterally” Haaretz reports


The Israeli government decided against sending a delegation to the renewed peace talks that are planned in Cairo today. Among the parties present are delegations of Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Islamic Jihad and Middle East Quartet’s peace envoy Tony Blair. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that the talks could create a “real chance” to end the Gaza conflict.


The demands of the Palestinian delegation for a ceasefire include a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army, the opening of the border crossings and a lift of the no-go-zone created by the Israeli military near the Gaza border fence, according to Ynet reports.


'Abducted’ Israeli soldier killed in battle


Hadar Goldin, the missing Israeli soldier, was killed in action according to a statement issued by the Israeli army late Saturday. “A special committee, led by the IDF chief rabbi, announced the death of Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, an infantry officer in the Givati Brigade who was killed in battle in the Gaza Strip on Friday.” Earlier, Hamas denied the Israeli claim that it had abducted the soldier, stating that he was killed by Israeli fire. 


The total number of death on the Israeli side is 64 soldiers and three civilians. The Palestinian death tolls stands at 1,766 according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Among these victims are 398 children, 209 women and 74 elderly men.


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