Israel Targets Families Trying To Leave Rafah

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The little girl Malak Haniyah, granddaughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah, died of her wounds yesterday after an Israeli air strike that killed her father Mohammed and her uncles and cousins

A YOUNG girl was shot in the face as her family attempted to return to north Gaza on Sunday, footage posted on social media showed yesterday.

The girl’s mother can be seen crying and hugging her dead child.

The killing of the girl occurred as her family was among the hundreds of displaced Palestinians attempting to return to their homes in northern Gaza in the exodus from Rafah which continued yesterday.

Israeli forces opened fire on those seeking to make the journey home yesterday, with the death toll remaining unclear, but the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reported that dozens of people were killed and wounded.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said yesterday at least 68 have been killed over the past 24 hours throughout the enclave.

The Monitor condemned ‘the Israeli army’s targeting of thousands of forcibly displaced Palestinians as they attempted to return to their homes in Gaza City and its north, directly with artillery shells and live bullets, which led to dozens of deaths and injuries, including women and children’.

It continued: ‘The Israeli army committed on Sunday what may constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes by deliberately directing attacks against the civilian population.’

More than six months of war have led to desperate humanitarian conditions in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Rumours of a reopened Israeli checkpoint on the coastal road from the south to northern Gaza City sent thousands of Palestinians on the move.

But Israeli forces opened fire on the returning families, with reports of many killed and wounded.

Attempting the journey back to northern Gaza, displaced resident Basma Salman said: ‘Even if it (my house) was destroyed, I want to go there.

‘I couldn’t stay in the south. It’s overcrowded. We couldn’t even take a fresh breath of air there. It was completely terrible.’

Hospital authorities in Gaza said at least five people were shot by Israeli forces while trying to head north.

The returnees said they were prompted to make the journey north because they were fed up with the unbearable conditions they were forced to live under while displaced.

There’s a state of chaos as the Israeli military expands its military bombardment and campaign across the entire Gaza Strip.

In the early hours of yesterday, hundreds of Palestinians tried to return back to the north on the coastal Rashid Road.

But they were confronted by Israeli tanks, which blocked the roads, opened fire, and forced the majority of them to return to their squalid shelters in the south.