Wednesday, January 14, 2009

19th Day Under Attack: 997 Killed in Gaza
and 4525 Injured

The Israeli military continued its offensive targeting the Palestinian costal region for the 18th day on Wednesday.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported that at least five Palestinians were reported killed by Wednesday midday; this brings the dearth toll in Gaza since the start of the Israeli operation 19 days go to 997.

The Ministry added that among those killed are 311 children, meanwhile the number of those injured reached 4,525 among them 300 in critical conditions.

Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli army shelled residential areas in Gaza City and in the nearby Jabalyia town, meanwhile Israeli tanks advanced from several areas deeper into the Costal region.

Witnesses and reporters said that a clouds of smoke covered sky over Gaza City in the morning due to the Israeli intense bombardment.

In Gaza City one of the targets was a local graveyard, Israeli jetfighters fired missiles at the tombs destroying them and leaving the buried bodies out in the open due to the explosions.

Palestinian resistance groups clashed with the Israeli ground forces in deferent location, the groups reported that they managed to injure 10 Israeli soldiers.

Israeli sources said that 5 soldiers were injured in the morning and overnight clashes, adding that one of them sustained critical wounds. Meanwhile home-made shells fired from Gaza continued to hit the Israeli, the Israeli army radio said that at least 10 home-made shells hit northern Israel towns and the Negev. Damage was reported but no injures.

The Israeli Army embarked on its military offensive on Saturday, December 27th, 2008. Israeli warplanes began the military operation by shelling every possible Palestinian security posts in Gaza. In the following days, the air raids were expanded; hospitals, homes, blacksmith workshops, schools, mosques, ambulances, media and UN relief efforts were targeted.

Day and night, the entire Palestinian coastal region has been under attack. On Saturday, January 3rd, 2009, Israeli ground forces entered the Gaza strip and have since divided Gaza into two sections. The Israeli government decided on Sunday night to intensify its operation in Gaza and extend hostilities to "phase three".