Twenty Palestinians were killed and at least forty were injured after
the Israeli army shelled a civilian area in Beit Hanoun, in the
northern part of the Gaza Strip. Eight of the killed are children, all
of the casualties are family members and relatives.
All of the killed residents are civilians, they were sleeping in their homes when the Israeli army shelled the civilian area.
The bodies of the casualties were severely mutilated as a result of the shelling, while the injured residents were sent to four hospitals across the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Israel claimed that the shelling was not intended to hit the civilian houses, although initial sources claimed that the target was an areas where Qassam homemade shells are fired into Israeli areas.
Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni , “expressed regret for the deaths”.
A senior Israeli military source confirmed that the army fired twelve shells and that the artillery fire was intended to hit an area half a kilometer from the houses of Beit Hanoun.
The source stated that “so far it is unclear whether this is a human error or a technical error”, and added that the main assumption now is that the artillery unit was given wrong coordinates.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the Israel Army Forces Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, appointed Major General Meir Kalifi to head an investigation into the shelling.
The shelling to the civilian area continued for 15 minutes.
The IMEMC received the following list from the Palestinian News Agency, WAFA;
All of them are civilians, including children and infants
1. Malak Samir Al Athamna, 1 year-old.
2. Maisa' Ramzi Al Thamna, 3 year-old.
3. Fatima Al Athamna, 5 year-old.
4. Sa'ady Majdi Abu Amsha, 8 year-old.
5. Mahmoud Amjad Al Athamna, 12 year-old.
6. Mahdi Sa'ad Al Athamna, 13 year-old.
7. Mohammad Sa'ad Al Athamna, 14 year-old.
8. Arafat Sa'ad Al Athamna, 17 year-old.
9. Nihad Al Athamna, 23.
10. Samir Mahmoud Al Athamna, 23.
11. Mohammad Ramadan Al Athamna, 24.
12. Sana' Ahmad Al Athamna, 30.
13. Manal Ahmad Al Athamna, 33.
14. Deema Majdi Al Athamna.
15. Ala' Al Athamna.
16. Saqer Mohammad Adwan, 45.
17. Sabah Al Athamna, 45.
18. Masoud Abdullah Al Athamna, 55.
19. Ni'ma Ahmad Al Athamna, 57.
20. Fatima Ahmad Al Athamna, 70.
At least fourty residents were injured, some seriously as a result of the Israeli shelling to the civilian area.