Israeli forces targeted a home in Gaza City early Monday, killing a young girl and injuring dozens of Palestinians just minutes after a humanitarian ceasefire came into effect, health officials said.
Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said an airstrike hit the home of the al-Bakri family in al-Shati camp, killing eight-year-old Aseel Muhammad al-Bakri and leaving 30 people injured.
The wounded, among them children, were taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Witnesses reported hearing the whistle of a missile fired from an F16 warplane before it crashed into a house wedged between two tall buildings inside the camp.
The strike hit at 10:06 a.m., six minutes into the lull. It was not possible to get rescue equipment to the scene, with a long line of people passing out chunks of rubble by hand. The strike caused the house to pancake, leaving only a very narrow gap for rescuers to get inside, some of whom were bloodying themselves in the effort.
From within, they managed to pull the body of a young girl wearing pajamas whose spine appeared to be broken in several places, with rescuers struggling to get her onto a stretcher, he said.
Less than an hour later, Israeli forces shelled a house in al-Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip, causing injuries.
Israel ‘unilaterally announced’ a humanitarian ceasefire from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Monday. The ceasefire was to apply across the Gaza Strip, excluding areas east of Rafah. But Hamas officials told Palestinians in Gaza to be wary of the truce.
‘The unilateral ceasefire announced by Israel is an attempt to divert the attention from Israeli massacres,’ Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, calling on Palestinians to proceed with caution.
The Hamas movement ‘doesn’t trust such a ceasefire,’ Abu Zuhri said. A photo provided by the Ministry of Health shows a child who sustained wounds after his home was struck in al-Shati camp.
According to the Ministry of Health, the Israeli offensive on Gaza has left over 1,822 Palestinians dead, including 398 children. Some 9,370 Palestinians have been injured, 2,744 of them children.
Approximately 373,000 children are in need of psychological support as a result of the trauma of the war, according to UN figures. Over a quarter of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to leave their homes throughout the assault.
• The turmoil gripping the Middle East is a direct result of the provision of cash, weapons and surveillance to Israel by the US, the latest Snowden leak illustrates.
Obama’s ‘helpless detachment’ is just for show, the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald writes.
In fact, ‘the single largest exchange between NSA and ISNU is on targets in the Middle East which constitute strategic threats to US and Israeli interests,’ the leaked paper reveals.
‘The mutually agreed upon geographic targets include the countries of North Africa, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and the Islamic republics of the former Soviet Union.’
Greenwald supplements this with proof of millions in emergency US funds stockpiled in the Middle East, which Israel can use for its own strategic purposes by simply writing a request.
Greenwald goes on to list the occasions on which the US has been exposed as supplying arms to Israel; the last such occasion was just before the start of the operation in Gaza, wherein a $1 billion stockpile of ammunition the US stored in Israel specifically for situations like these was used.
What was not known to many is that Israel only had to make an emergency request to have access to it. One such case was the 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The new Snowden documents illustrate a crucial fact: Israeli aggression would be impossible without the constant, lavish support and protection of the US government.