MORE GAZA MASSACRES! – as Israel intensifies bombardment

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Israel early yesterday ignored a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for an ‘immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza’.

Israeli forces killed at least 30 Palestinians in the hours after the resolution was passed early yesterday morning, as they intensified their bombardment of Gaza.

Fourteen of the fifteen UNSC members voted for the resolution but the United States abstained, giving Israel the green light to continue its onslaught.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the resolution was ‘not practical’ and that the Israeli military ‘will continue operations.’

Meanwhile, the United Nations has collected witness testimony indicating that Israeli forces shelled a house in the Zaytoun neighbourhood of Gaza City last Monday, 5 January, in which Israeli troops had crowded 110 Palestinians on the day before.

In its weekly report on the protections of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said: ‘From 3 to 7 January, the IDF prevented medical teams from entering the area to evacuate the wounded.

‘In one of the gravest incidents since the beginning of operations, according to several testimonies, on 4 January Israeli foot-soldiers evacuated approximately 110 Palestinians (half of whom were children) into a single-residence house in Zaytoun, warning them to stay indoors.

‘Twenty-four hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately thirty. Those who survived and were able, walked two kilometres to Salah Ed Din road before being transported to the hospital in civilian vehicles.’

The witnesses also said three children, the youngest of whom was five months old, died upon arrival at the hospital.

Elena Pacheco, from OCHA, said: ‘According to the ICRC, the ambulances were not given permission to enter the neighbourhood to evacuate the injured from this house until yesterday.

‘This raises our concern about the evacuation of wounded people, a basic fundamental tenet under humanitarian law.’

She added: ‘In Gaza there is a severe protection of civilians crisis, people are in danger in all places, there is no safe haven, no safe space for all the civilians – in particular children.

‘Since the ground operation, the number of children killed has risen by 250 per cent.

‘The only way to afford all of these civilians protection is to have a cessation of hostilities.’

Anne Sophie Bonefeld, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said: ‘We are still deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation.

‘We are receiving information that there are still many wounded in Gaza that needed to be evacuated and need to be taken to hospital.

‘There are still medical supplies and medicines that need to be sent to hospitals.

‘There are water supply lines that need to be repaired and so on, and so the needs are quite immense.’

The latest casualty to be identified yesterday was 15 year-old Muhammad Atef Abu Al-Husna, who was killed when Israeli warplanes levelled a house in Jabaliya, in northern Gaza.

He was taken to nearby Kamal Udwan hospital and identified by Mu’awiyah Hassanain, the director of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Dr Hassanain said that the death toll over two weeks of the Israeli offensive in Gaza is 800. An additional 3,200 have been injured.