The Guardian reported Thursday afternoon:
This is Chris Johnston taking over our Middle East blog as Binyamin Netanyahu instructs troops to move into the Gaza StripIsrael’s decision to move troops into Gaza follows fierce clashes between Israeli forces and Hamas earlier today after a temporary ceasefire ended. An airstrike killed three Palestinian children who had been feeding pigeons on the roof of their house.
reports from friends with contacts in Gaza:
“Al Wafa hospital under severs attack at the minute, Spanish and Italian activist inside”
“army firing from boats at intl hotels”
“The Israeli army is using their tanks that are located by the borders of my hometown to target places all over the northern side of Gaza Strip. Those type of tank missiles are the worst nightmare, they are so loud and painful to hear. They use them heavily and frequently to shake the city and destroy the spirits of people before a ground invasion. I was with my sister on the phone and she told me that one of the tank missiles hit a house in another town and four more kids were killed. Trying to imagine what is going on her mind right now??????”
Saber Zaneen in northern Gaza:
المعلومات حول القصف في منطقة البؤرة حي الامل هو من قذائف مدفعية والقصف استهدف منزل لعائلة الكفارنة والمعلومات تتحدث عن حوالي 10اصابات من بينها حالات خطرة _نسال الله السلامة والشفاء العاجل لهم
Information about the bombing in the neighborhood is the focus of artillery shells and bombs targeted the House of the family of Al-kafarna, information about about 10 casualties, including dangerous situations _ we ask Allaah to keep us safe and speedy recovery for them
— Nour Odeh (@nour_odeh) July 17, 2014
Contacts in Gaza:
+972592224699 Basman Alashi- executive director of El-Wafa hospital
Internationals in the hospital:
+972592224699 (ISM) Joseph Catron, USA (English)
+970595934842 Manu Pineda, Spain (Spanish)
+972595251720 Huda Julie Webb-Pullman, Australia and New Zealand (English)
+972595209679 (ISM) Fred Ekblad, Sweden (Swedish/English)
+972598345327 (ISM) Charlie, Sweden (Swedish/English)
+972595827070 Valeria Cortes, Venezuela (Spanish)
+972595176849 Rina Andolini, UK (English)
+972599759394 Collete Lechrien, France (French)
Fatalities & Injuries
GANSO Tel: +970 598934635 or +970 597797736
Union of Health Work Committees Tel: +972 599412048
EWASH Tel: + 970 598910834
Human Rights Violations
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) Tel: +972 82824776
Al Mezan Tel: +972 82820442/7
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Tel: +972 543311809
UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) Tel: +972 542402659
Israeli tanks are shelling Gaza’s Al-Wafa hospital, whose 14 patients include some who are paralyzed or in a coma, and several people have been hurt, the facility’s director said Thursday.
“Israeli tanks are shelling the hospital, they have hit several of the floors, and several nurses have been injured,” director Basman Alashi told AFP.
The hospital in Gaza’s Shejaiya district has come under Israeli fire several times before, and the Israeli military has called on Alashi and other doctors to evacuate it.
Alashi told AFP on Wednesday that it was almost impossible to move the patients, most of whom are immobile, and he questioned where they could go.
“There is no place safe in Gaza! If a hospital is not safe, where is?” he said.
On Thursday night, he said he was contacting other hospitals in Gaza to try to arrange ambulances to transport the 14 patients elsewhere after Al-Wafa came under renewed Israeli fire.
“But the ambulances are all in use, there is heavy shelling in many places,” he said.
“And each patient has to be taken individually and carried because they cannot move.”
“They are tearing the hospital apart, bit by bit.”
RT live feed has the ominous sound of the lethal drones and bombings
The Israeli military has destroyed el-Wafa rehabilitation hospital in the Gaza Strip, after first targeting the facility with five missiles on July 11, 2014. The Israeli military began striking the building around 8:oo pm this evening and within two hours all hospital staff and patients had evacuated the only rehabilitation center in the Gaza Strip. As they departed what remained intact from the medical center burned to the ground.
“It’s already destroyed,” said Basman Alashi, director of el-Wafa, continuing, “I don’t know how much is left of it, but we have evacuated all of our patients. We lost power, there was a fire in the building.”
Only after the facility was under heavy fire and in the process of being abandoned did Alashi receive a phone call from the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) relaying a message from the Israeli army. A women who identified herself as a delegate of the ICRC said, “the Israelis asked ‘how much time do you need to evacuate,’” said Alashi, answering “two hours.” However, within an hour when the woman called back and said the Israeli army “will halt the bombings, and not bomb the hospital any more,” the facility was already in rubble. Alashi responded, “Are you joking, are you making a mockery of me? I told her it’s too late they have already destroyed it.”
“I said that the Red Cross is cooperating with the Israelis to destroy the hospital,” Alashi continued, recounting his earlier conversation with the representative from the ICRC. “I’m going to take you, the Red Cross and the Israelis to the International Criminal Court,” he announced before hanging up the telephone.”
Israel launched a ground invasion in Gaza late Thursday on the 10th day of an assault that has killed 240 Palestinians and wounded 1,800.
“Following 10 days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeated rejections of offers to deescalate the situation, the Israel Defense Forces (army) has initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip,” Israel’s occupation forces said in a statement.
Reuters witnesses and Gaza residents reported heavy artillery and naval shelling and helicopter fire along the Gaza border.
The invasion comes after a day of aerial bombardment left 18 people dead, including at least six children.
Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said that three children were killed when Israeli jets bombed their home in Gaza City in an attack that came after the end of a UN-negotiated truce.
He identified the Gaza City victims as eight-year-old Fulla Tarek Shaheber, 10-year-old Jihad Issam Shaheber and nine-year-old Wassim Issam Shaheber.
A fourth child, four-year-old Rahaf Khalil al-Jabbour was killed moments later in a separate attack on Khan Younis, Qudra wrote on Twitter.
Also in Khan Younis, 29-year-old Hamza Houssam al-Abadaleh was killed in an airstrike.
Four-year-old Yassin al-Humaideh also succumbed to his wounds suffered in an earlier attack.
And another four-year-old, Mohammed Salem Natiz, was killed along with two members of his family in an air strike in Gaza City.
Earlier Thursday, Israeli tank fire hit a house in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, killing another three people, minutes before the truce went into effect, medics said.
Qudra said four other people were seriously wounded in the attack on the house in Rafah.
He named those killed as Mohammed Ghanem, 25, Abdullah Akhras, 27, and Bashir Abdel Aal, 20, and said six tank shells were fired in the attack.
The remains of the three men arrived in pieces, he added.
One Israeli has been killed in rocket fire by fighters in Gaza.
Over 1800 have been injured, with some losing limbs and others disabled for life.
The majority of the wounded are children, according to the Ministry of Health. All of the casualties listed below are victims of Israeli bombs dropped on Gaza since Tuesday July 8th.