GAZA CITY – As Israel escalates its offense against Gaza civilians for the second week, a mosque and centre for the disabled have been bombed in the ongoing military operation that left at least 165 Gazans killed so far.
"They are bankrupt of targets and of pity. What would the handicapped have been resisting?” Azzedin Ali, 26, a neighbor of the disabled centre, told the New York Times.
“This is the enemy striking civilians in the places they think they are safe.”
While taking suhoor meal before dawn, the director of the disabled center could hear the knocking warning that a rocket has hit the roof of the clinic before the explosion.
At least two of the disabled were dead and several were wounded in Saturday's attack in northern Gaza.
“No one could imagine the center would be a target for anyone," Jamila Elaiwa, who founded the disabled center 20 years ago.
Another Israeli air strike targeted innocent civilians on Saturday, when a mosque was bombed before dawn prayer, leaving at least four killed.
“This is the house of God,” said Muhammad Hamad, 25, junior imam of the mosque.
Digging through the rubble with the help of young men, the imam found a Qur'an copy open at the verse “Victory is imminent for those who remain steadfast.”
Israel has been launching relentless airstrikes against Gaza since Tuesday in which more than 120 have been killed and over 500 injured in the tiny coastal strip.
Israel has claimed that its new war on Gaza, under the title Operation Protect Edge, was a response to the rocket attacks being carried out by Hamas.
It added that its offensive is intended to halt rocket fire at its cities from the Gaza Strip.
There have been no Israeli casualties from the hundreds of rockets that have been fired by militants in Gaza.
No safe place
Going into its second week, the Israeli war on Gaza has denied Gaza Muslims the happiness of the holy fasting month.
“Ramadan usually brings every good thing,” said Muhammad Ahmad, whose fruit stall was doing little business.
“This war in Gaza has caused a kind of fear and stress and tension.
“People are afraid to go out of their homes.”
With no safe areas to go, thousands of Palestinians fled their homes in northern Gaza on Sunday, July 13, amid threats of intensifying the Israeli raids.
“Even as we were fleeing, there was firing all around us... we couldn’t take anything with us, the children were barefoot," Samari al-Atar, who lives in the Atatra neighborhood, told Agence France presse (AFP).
“We didn’t get any warning, but there was firing all around us all night,” said Mohammed Sultan, who decided to take refuge in a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA).
“We were terrified and so afraid for our children,” he said. “It was total war.”
Thousands of angry demonstrators turned out to the streets around the world on Friday to protest the Israeli war on besieged Gaza Strip that has resulted in the killing of more than 165 Palestinian and injuring of hundreds.
Condemning the killing of civilians in Gaza, the United Nations Security Council on Saturday, July 13, called for a cease fire between the two rivals.
“The Security Council members called for de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, and reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire,” Security Council President, Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana of Rwanda, said in a statement obtained by Onislam.net.
“The Security Council members further called for respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”
Despite UN Security Council calls for a cessation of attacks, Israeli troops launched its first ground operation in Gaza.
The Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed-wing, confirmed the exchange of gunfire "between our fighters and soldiers of the Zionist navy which tried to penetrate the zone of Sudanyia" in northwest Gaza, Al Jazeera reported.
The ground operation followed Saturday's Israeli missile strike that targeted the home of Gaza police chief Tayseer al-Batsh in the Toufah area of Gaza City, killing 18 members of the same family.
"It’s a new massacre being committed against our people in Gaza strip. People were trying to get out of the mosque after they finished night time 'Taraweh' prayers but suddenly they saw the house under intensive shelling," Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesman for the Gaza health ministry, said.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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