The Israeli Air Force fired a number of missiles at the “Tunnels Area” in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, killing one resident and wounding two others. Palestinian medical sources in Gaza reported that the slain resident was identified as Wajdi Jihad Al Qadi, 23, and added that his body was severely mutilated.
The sources stated that two other Palestinians were wounded and were moved to Abu Yousef Al Najjar hospital in Rafah.
Furthermore, Palestinian security sources in Gaza reported that Egyptian security personnel along the border with Rafah, and Palestinian residents living near the border in Rafah have left their posts and homes after receiving info that the Israeli army intends to bombard tunnels in the area.
The sources added that the Egyptian Security Forces also demanded Palestinian National Security personnel to leave their posts.
Israel claims that Palestinian fighters in Gaza fired shells the contained phosphor; the shells were allegedly fired at areas in the Eshkol Regional Council in the Western Negev.
The Hamas movement denied the Israeli claim and said that it comes to “justify a new Israeli offensive on Gaza”.
Hamas spokesperson in Gaza, Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, stated that the Israeli claims are meant to incite the International Community against, Gaza and to justify Israel’s use of phosphorous shells during its three-week war on the coastal region that started in late December 2008.
Abu Zuhri said that “while the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas started direct talks with the occupation, Israel is seeking a new aggression on the Gaza Strip”.
He added that the Palestinians will remain steadfast and will retaliate against any Israeli aggressions, he also held the International Community responsible for any upcoming Israeli aggression.
According to documentation by the Palestinian Center For Human Rights in Gaza, 1,419 Palestinian were killed during the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip. This number includes 1,167 non-combatants (82.2%) and 252 resistance activists (17.8%). The non-combatants include civilians and civil police officers who were not involved in hostilities.
The PCHR report indicated that 918 civilians were killed (64.7% of the total number of victims). The civilian victims include 318 children (22.4 % of the total number of victims and 34.7% of the number of civilian victims) and 111 women (7.8% of the total number of victims and 12.1% of the number of civilian victims).
It added that 429 women and children were killed (30.2% of the total number of victims and 46.7% of the total number of civilian victims).
At least 5300 Palestinians were wounded during the war; 1,600 of them were children (30%) and 830 women (15.6%).
According to PCHR’s data, 318 children aged under 18 were killed; 22.4% of the total number of all victims and 34.6% of the total number of civilian victims. This figure includes 215 boys (67.6%) and 103 girls (32.4%). Additionally, 1,600 children were wounded, constituting 30% of the total number of the wounded.
“Children were killed in different contexts, often while inside homes or while playing outside. In some instances they were targeted directly, in others they were killed when the Israeli Army bombarded mosques, public facilities or residential complexes, or extra-judicially-executed Palestinian activists”, the PCHR reported.