GAZA CITY – Amid international efforts to end the two-week conflict in Gaza, Israel shelled five mosques in the besieged strip on Tuesday, July 22, killing at least seven Palestinians and injuring dozens.
“Israeli air, naval and ground attacks have killed 590 Palestinians in Gaza, including 160 children and 77 women,” Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency Tuesday, July 22.
Tuesday’s attacks targeted 70 sites in Gaza, including mosques, a football stadium and the home of a late leader of Hamas’ military wing.
Today’s attacks were coupled with heavy military presence especially near the eastern border areas, where Israeli tanks were deployed 800 meters away from the borders, according to Al Jazeera.
At least 40 mosques have been targeted since the start of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, 15 of them were totally destroyed and 25 were partially damaged, according to the Palestinian ministry of Housing and Public Works.
Along with homes and mosques, hospitals have been frequently targeted by the Israeli troops over the past two week.
“The Israeli troops are targeting the health facilities and ambulance crews since the beginning of the military operation,” Health Ministry Undersecretary Medhat Mehesen said.
Mehesn added that more than 25 health facilities have been targeted by the Israeli strikes.
On Monday, July 21, Israel shelled a hospital in the central Gaza, killing five people and wounding at least 70, among them doctors and medical staff.
Israel has been launching relentless airstrikes against Gaza since July 8 where hundreds have been killed and injured.
Israel occupation forces started a ground invasion of besieged Gaza, home to two millions civilian, on Thursday, July 17.
The Palestinian death toll in an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip rose above 590, with more than 3660 injured.
According to UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 80% of deaths in Gaza are civilians, including dozens of children and women.
The death toll of Israeli army has reached 27, besides two civilians. The Israeli forces have also onfirmed the death of the Israeli soldier that was abducted by Hamas.
As the war on Gaza enters its 15th day, international efforts to end the conflict have dispatched talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry in Egypt and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Israel.
“We hope (Kerry’s) visit will result in a ceasefire that provides the necessary security for the Palestinian people and that we can commence to address the medium and long-term issues related to Gaza,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri was quoted by Reuters.
The Egyptian brokered cease fire deal failed to get the approval of Hamas’ armed wing, Qassam, last week.
Hamas demands ending Israel’s and Egypt blockade of Gaza, as well as releasing hundreds of Palestinians who were arrested in the wake of the kidnapping of the Israeli settlers last month.
“The world must understand that Gaza has decided to end the blockade by its blood and its heroism,” deputy Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a televised address on Monday, July 21.
“The conditions for a ceasefire are... a full lifting of the blockade and then the release of those recently detained in the West Bank,” Haniya added.
“We cannot go backwards, to a slow death,” he said, referring to the Israeli blockade in force since 2006.
Condemning the military assault of Gaza, US President Obama said: “We have serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives.”
According to the UN aid agency for Palestinians (UNRWA), the large scale of mass destruction in Gaza has left about 1,255 home severely damaged, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes that were caught up in the Israeli air strikes.
On Monday, July 21, a galaxy of international renowned figures have called for arms embargo on Israel, accusing it of ‘war crimes and possible crimes against humanity’ in Gaza.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
We are not responsible for the content of external internet sites