The Israeli ground invasion continued for a second day straight on Saturday, claiming over 100 lives in the past two days, many of them children and families killed in their homes. This follows the killing of over 200 Palestinians in the previous nine days by massive airstrikes that targeted every part of the crowded coastal Strip.The latest escalation by Israeli forces follows an offer by the Hamas party in Gaza to negotiate a ten-year truce with Israel, which included the condition that the eight-year long siege on Gaza which has devastated the economy and livelihood of its 1.8 million inhabitants be lifted.
Israel rejected that offer, and instead launched a massive ground offensive into Gaza, which Israeli officials claim is meant to “root out the terrorists”, but which eyewitnesses on the ground say is mainly killing women and children, and pushing more Palestinians toward armed resistance.
On Saturday afternoon, 24 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes, tank shells and naval artillery shells. This brings the death toll on Saturday alone to 45 Palestinians, including 4 members of the Salhiyya family (3 adults and one child), 3 members of the Nassr family (2 adults and 1 child), and a 6-year old child killed in Khan Younis, all in the early morning hours of Saturday.
A 33-year old Palestinian citizen of Israel was killed by a Palestinian shell on Friday afternoon, and two young children and a woman wounded. The four members of the same family were hit by the shell in their home, in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Qasr al-Sir. Israeli authorities have not constructed bomb shelters in the Palestinian Bedouin villages, which have been ‘unrecognized’ by the state of Israel since Israel’s creation on Palestinian land in 1948. The residents of these villages have faced repeated demolitions of their homes and villages by Israeli authorities.
The Palestinians killed on Saturday afternoon include an entire family, including a 2 year old baby and 6-year old child, killed in their home.
1. Mahmoud Abdul-Hamid al-Zweidi, 23, Beit Lahia.
2. Dalia Abdel-Hamid al-Zweidi, 37, Beit Lahia.
3. Rowiya Mahmoud al-Zweidi, 6, Beit Lahia.
4. Naghm Mahmoud al-Zweidi, 2, Beit Lahia.
5. Mohammad Khaled Jamil al-Zweidi, 20, Beit Lahia.
A child and a teen from the same family were killed in Beit Lahia by Israeli forces. They were identified as:
6. Amr Hamouda, 7.
7. Mohammad Riziq Mohammad Hamouda, 18.
Two Palestinians were killed in Israeli shelling of the Deir al-Balah refugee camp, in the central district of Gaza, identified as:
8. Mo’men Taysir al-‘Abed Abu Dan, 24, Central District.
9. Abdul-Aziz Samir Abu Za’itar, 31, Central District.
An Israeli airstrike in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City cost two brothers their lives:
10. Mohammad Ziad Za’bout, 24, Gaza City.
11. Hatem Ziad Za’bout, 22, Gaza City.
Also Saturday afternoon, the following casualties were confirmed by the Palestinian Ministry of health:
12. Fadal Mohammad al-Bana, 29, was killed in Jabalia.
13. Mohammad Abdul-Rahman Abu Hamad, 25, Beit Lahia.
14. Ma’ali Abdul-Rahman Suleiman Abu Zeid, 24, Central District.
15. Mohammad Ahmad as-Saidi, 18, Khan Younis
16. Abdul-Rahman Mohammad Odah, 23, Central District.
17. Tariq Samir Khalil al-Hatou, 26, Central District.
18. Mahmoud al-Sharif, 24, Central District.
19. Mohammad Fathi al-Ghalban, 23, Khan Younis.
20. Mahmoud Anwar Abu Shabab, 16, Rafah.
21. Ahmad Abu Thurayya, 25, Central District.
22. Abdullah Ghazi al-Masri, 30, Central District.
23. Ayman Hisham an-Na’ouq, 25, Central District.
24. Aqram Mahmoud al-Matouq, 37, Jabalia.
The United Nations Refugee Works Administration, which runs many of the schools in Gaza, is currently struggling to provide assistance for the nearly 50,000 Palestinians that have fled from their homes in the north of the country into 44 UN schools.
Hospitals report shortages of many basic supplies, as casualties of the Israeli bombardment and ground invasion continue to flood in.