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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Wednesday July 16th, 2014.
Israeli war planes target Palestinian families, death toll reaches 226, as the Israeli offensive on Gaza enters its 9th day. These stories, and more, coming up, stay tuned.
On Wednesday evening four Palestinians from the same family were killed when Israeli fighter jets bombarded an area in Khan Younis city, south of the Gaza strip. Two children, Yasmien Al Astal, 4, Mohamed Al Astal, 6, Kouther Al Astal 70, and Husin Al Astal, 23, were killed when an Israeli war planes fired missiles into a group of people who gathered in the street, Palestinian sources reported.
This attack comes only few hours after an Israeli naval ship fired multiple artillery shells at children on a beach in Gaza City Wednesday afternoon, killing four children from Bakir family between the ages of 9 and 11, and wounding a number of other children. Reporters for AFP and the Guardian witnessed the attack, which took place near a hotel where the few foreign journalists in Gaza are staying.
According to Palestinian medical sources the death toll in Gaza have now reached 226 with more than 1600 people injured. Witnesses in Gaza are saying that Israeli attacks are focused on civilian targets. The latest Israeli military offensive targeting Gaza started last Tuesday.
The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has issued an information sheet stating that the interpretation presented by the Israeli army which stats that it is enough for a person to be involved in a military activity to render his home and his neighbors’ homes legitimate military targets without having to prove any connection between his activity and the house in which he and his family live — is unfounded and illegal.
Euphemisms such as ‘surgical strikes’ or ‘operational infrastructure’ used by the Israeli army cannot hide the facts: illegal attacks of homes, which constitute punitive home demolition from the air, come at a dreadful cost in human life. B’Tselem added.
On the political level, Israeli PM Bejamin Netanyahu pledges to expand and intensify the military assault on Gaza, in the shadow of failed attempts at an Egyptian-brokered truce. Hamas sources announced that the group has no official stance on the initiative because it has not been decided yet. Furthermore, both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are now reportedly willing to sign a 10-year truce, should their conditions be met.
Conditions include the halt of all Israeli attacks on Gaza and the withdrawal of all tanks from the borders, also the ending of the Israeli siege on the costal evolved which been enforced since 2007. The Palestinian groups also demanded that Israel must free all Palestinian prisoners detained after the abduction and killing of three Israeli settlers in the southern West Bank and that Israel increases the Gaza fishing zone to 10 nautical miles and allows Gaza fishermen to use large fishing ships.
Elsewhere, Dozens of Israeli military vehicles invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, several Palestinian communities in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, and kidnapped eleven Palestinians, including one legislator.
And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News; this was the Wednesday July 16th, 2014 news round-up from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our websiteatwww.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi and me Ghassan Bannoura.