Day Four of Israeli Attack on Gaza: Death toll hits 46 in Gaza, 381 civilians wounded; Israel destroys Ismail Haniya’s office in Gaza City; Cairo hosting cease-fire talks

Israel/Palestine
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Ruins of Ismail Haniya’s office in Gaza City after Israeli strike. (Photo: Jon Donnison/Twitter)

This post is a continually updated news resource. Click on the links for Mondoweiss’ coverage of Day 1; Day 2; and Day 3 of the Israeli attack on Gaza.

Cairo is playing host to cease-fire talks. Laura Rozen from Al Monitor has the rundown:

Cairo is host to four-way talks on the Gaza crisis Saturday, as regional parties seek to move Hamas and Israel to a cease-fire and avert an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is hosting consultations with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and several Palestinian leaders.

Speaking from Cairo, a senior advisor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praised Egyptian mediation efforts, while lamenting Israeli action as further unravelling aspirations for a two state solution.

Ma’an News is keeping a running toll of those killed in Gaza during the ongoing Israeli assault. Here is the current list:

Wednesday, Nov. 14

1. Ahmad al-Jaabari
2. Muhammad al-Hums
3. Ranan Arafat (child)
4. Omar Mashharawi (child)
5. Isam Abu al-Miza
6. Muhammad al-Kaseih
7. Hiba Mashharawi Turk (pregnant woman)
8. Mahmoud Abu Sawawin (elderly man)

Thursday, Nov. 15

9. Habis Masmah
10. Wael al-Ghalban
11. Hisham al-Ghalban
12. Rani Hammad
13. Khalid Abu al-Nasr
14. Marwan Abu al-Qumsan (elderly man)
15. Walid Abadla (child)
16. Hanin Tafish (infant)
17. Uday Jamal Nasser
18. Tareq Jamal Nasser
19. Faris Basyouni (child)

Friday, Nov. 16

20. Muhammad Iyad Saadallah (child)
21. Ayman al-Abid Abu Warda
22. Tahrir Suleiman
23. Ismail Qandil
24. Younis Kamil Tafish
25. Muhammad Suleiman
26. Amjad Abu Jalal
27. Ziad Abu Jalal
28. Ahmad Abu Jalal
29. Hasan al-Heilma
30. Khalid al-Shayer

Saturday, Nov. 17

31. Ayman Salim
32. Ahmad Abu Masmah
33. Mukhlis Udwan
34. Abdul-Rahman al-Misri
35. Muhammad al-Lolahi
36. Awad al-Nahhal
37. Ali Abdul-Hakim Manama
38. Osama Abdul-Jawwad
39. Ashraf Darwish
40. Ahmad al-Atrash
41. Muhammad Yasin
42. Osama al-Qady
43. Ali Bin Iseid
44. Muhammad Aydat
45. Samahar Qidih

Four more Palestinians died today, bringing the total toll to 46, according to Ma’an News’ reporting. And according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, at least 17 civilians have died during the assault–almost half the total Palestinian death toll. 381 Palestinian civilians have been injured in the fighting, including 107 children. 

Also last night, Israel destroyed the Gaza City office of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. The New York Times reports:

Explaining the Israeli rationale for moving from attacking purely militant targets to government buildings in Gaza, Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Saturday, “It is clear that Hamas itself makes no distinction between its terrorist military machine and the government structure and that they are intertwined.

The Times also has more reporting here from Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner inside Gaza. Here’s a screenshot of the frank headline, which is refreshing from the Times:

NYT

As if to underscore Israel’s attacks on civilian sites and infrastructure, this is what Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai said today, according to Haaretz: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.” The comment is reminiscent of another of Yishai’s comments, this time four years ago during Cast Lead: “It [should be] possible to destroy Gaza, so they will understand not to mess with us.”

Earlier today, the U.S.-financed Iron Dome system in Israel shot down a rocket fired in the direction of Tel Aviv.

The United Nations Relief  and Works Agency (UNRWA) has more information on the toll the Israeli assault has taken on infrastructure in Gaza. This is part of their report from November 17:

UNRWA installations continue to suffer collateral damage from the escalation of violence.

16 November, 21:00: Two Israeli airstrikes hit an open area near the Al Naser Health Centre, causing damage.
17 November, early morning: An Israeli airstrike hit the prime minister’s office, causing minor damage to UNRWA’s Rimal Health Centre on Naser Street.
17 November, 03:00: An Israeli air strike hit Al-Rahman Mosque, damaging nearby UNRWA schools in Al-Bureij area. Al-Bureij Co-ed School B and D sustained major damage (see pictures below). Al-Bureij Elementary Boys’ School A had some broken windows.
17 November, 03:15: An Israeli airstrike hit the main police headquarters in Gaza City, causing minor damages to UNRWA’s Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired (RCVI). Other UNRWA schools in the same location have also suffered minor damage.
17 November, afternoon: An Israeli airstrike hit a mosque by the Port of Gaza City, causing minor damage to Tiba 3 and Abu Ramadan Tower, which are security-cleared residences for UN international staff in Gaza.

UNRWA also reports here on “an UNRWA teacher…killed by an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza. Marwan Abu El Qumsan was in his early 50s and an Arabic teacher at UNRWA’s Preparatory Boys School in Jabalia. Reports indicate that he was in a car near the scene of the airstrike.”

Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to await word on whether they will enter the Gaza Strip for a ground assault. Although the U.S. remains concerned about a ground assault and has reportedly been warning Israel not to extend the conflict, they have also emphasized Israel’s “right to defend itself.” Yesterday, Obama’s National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told Yahoo! News that it’s “up to the Israeli government” to decide whether a ground assault would be forthcoming.

Tunisia’s head diplomat visited Gaza a day after the Egyptian prime minister did. “Our message to the international community is that this blatant Israeli aggression on our people in Gaza must stop,” the diplomat, foreign minister Rafik Abdessalem, said. Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet in Cairo with Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi about the Gaza crisis.

And protests have taken place across the West Bank in solidarity with Gaza.

12 Responses

  1. Dutch
    November 17, 2012, 11:18 am

    Please help circulate AVAAZ’s call to support the upgrade of Palestinian rights at the UN. Approaching 1.4 million signatures.

    link to avaaz.org

    • Walid
      November 17, 2012, 12:29 pm

      Dutch, AVAAZ carries water for J Street. This letter thing is not about petitioning anything for the Palestinians’ rights but simply to safeguard Israel’s back by pushing for a 2-state to avoid the impending 1-state and another 20-year stalling tactic while Israel continues its theft of what’s left. Don’t be misguided by what appears as an honorable issue undertaken by Avaaz but read between the lines.

      The Arab League is currently in session to discuss Gaza and every member state is expressing its solidarity with Palestine and agreeing that a new thinking has to be started about the “situation” and they are are all saying that war against Israel is out of the question but that something has to be done by the Arabs. Qatar’s FM made the best speech describing how the Arabs also participated in the siege of Gaza and that none of the Arab states have sent the promised aid to Gaza. Qatar at least has started to send aid.

      In a nutshell, the Arab League session will end in a few minutes with a statement of solidarity with Gaza and condemning Israel’s aggression. But that’s about it.

  2. Ramzi Jaber
    November 17, 2012, 12:21 pm

    It’s revealing how EU and USA are so much under the zionist fist. We hear all the talk how EU supports us and how the USA wants to bring peace and justice to the ME. BUT… when it really counts, they all come out and support the criminal zionist regime’s “right to self defence”. AMAZING HYPOCRISY AND ASTOUNDING COWARDESS.

    So who is really in need of defence? The weak, oppressed, occupied, imprisoned, poor people of Palestine… OR the occupiers, murderers, settlers, thieves with over 400 nuclear weapons, over 4,000 tanks, over 750 planes??!!!!!!!

  3. Avi_G.
    November 17, 2012, 1:15 pm

    381 Palestinian civilians have been injured in the fighting

    Fighting?

    Surely, you mean “Israeli attack” or “Israeli assault”.

  4. Annie Robbins
    November 17, 2012, 3:51 pm

    there was just another massive explosion in gaza.

  5. subconscious
    November 17, 2012, 4:33 pm

    Airstrike on a Gaza residential area:

  6. Annie Robbins
    November 17, 2012, 7:29 pm

    warships have been attacking, a building hosting journalists was hit. my twitter feed is going crazy.

    here’s sound from 11minutes ago link to soundcloud.com

  7. irena
    November 17, 2012, 7:46 pm

    NYT just changed their headline for that article from the above (“to civilians”) to “broaden to include government sites”
    Objective and accurate reporting had a very short life-span on NYT, once again

  8. DICKERSON3870
    November 17, 2012, 8:44 pm

    ● RE: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.” ~ Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai

    ● MY COMMENT: The Likud-run government of Israel has fully adopted Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s concept of the “Iron Wall”: an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission. Hence Ariel Sharon’s dictum: that force is the only thing the Arabs understand. And the only alternative to force is more force. [ David Bromwich, Mondoweiss, 9/04/09 ]

    Another famous statement by former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in March 2002 signifies Israel’s official and reductionist view of the enemy: “The Palestinians must be hit and it must be very painful: we must cause them losses, victims, so that they feel the heavy price”. [ Report of the UN Secretary-General regarding Jenin ]

    And former Israeli president Moshe Katsav is on record as having said: “There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies -not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.” [ The Jerusalem Post ~ May 10, 2001 ].

    ● P.S. I am feeling so darn good about having voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party rather than “O’bomber” who obviously signed off on Israel’s current “Pillar of Cloud” assault on Gaza. I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I don’t live in a “swing state” where I might have been tempted to vote for Obama/O’bomber as the (not very) “lesser evil”!
    Israel is the “little sadist”, but the United States is the “Big (Global) Sadist” ! ! !

    • Jill Stein – link to jillstein.org

    • The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) – link to gp.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      November 17, 2012, 8:52 pm

      ● P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The Likud-run government of Israel has fully adopted Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s concept of the ‘Iron Wall’: an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission. Hence Ariel Sharon’s dictum: that force is the only thing the Arabs understand. And the only alternative to force is more force. [ David Bromwich, Mondoweiss, 9/04/09 ]” ~ me (above)

      ● SEE: “A Pillar Built on Sand”, By John Mearsheimer, London Review of Books, 11/16/12

      [EXCERPT] . . . Israel’s leaders have a two-prong strategy for dealing with their Palestinian problem. First, they rely on the United States to provide diplomatic cover, especially in the United Nations. The key to keeping Washington on board is the Israel lobby, which pressures American leaders to side with Israel against the Palestinians and do hardly anything to stop the colonisation of the Occupied Territories.
      The second prong is Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s concept of the ‘Iron Wall’: an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission. Jabotinsky understood that the Palestinians would resist the Zionists’ efforts to colonise their land and subjugate them in the process. Nonetheless, he maintained that the Zionists, and eventually Israel, could punish the Palestinians so severely that they would recognise that further resistance was futile.
      Israel has employed this strategy since its founding in 1948, and both Cast Lead and Pillar of Defence are examples of it at work. In other words, Israel’s aim in bombing Gaza is not to topple Hamas or eliminate its rockets, both of which are unrealisable goals. Instead, the ongoing attacks in Gaza are part of a long-term strategy to coerce the Palestinians into giving up their pursuit of self-determination and submitting to Israeli rule in an apartheid state.
      Israel’s commitment to the Iron Wall is reflected in the fact that its leaders have said many times since Cast Lead ended in January 2009 that the IDF would eventually have to return to Gaza and inflict another beating on the Palestinians. The Israelis were under no illusion that the 2008-9 conflict had defanged Hamas. The only question for them was when the next punishment campaign would start.
      The timing of the present operation is easy to explain. For starters, President Obama has just won a second term despite Netanyahu’s transparent attempt to help Mitt Romney win the election. The prime minister’s mistake is likely to have hurt his personal relations with the president and might even threaten America’s ‘special relationship’ with Israel. A war in Gaza, however, is a good antidote for that problem, because Obama, who faces daunting economic and political challenges in the months ahead, has little choice but to back Israel to the hilt and blame the Palestinians.
      The Israeli prime minter faces an election of his own in January and as Mitchell Plitnick writes, ‘Netanyahu’s gambit of forming a joint ticket with the fascist Yisrael Beiteinu party has not yielded anything close to the polling results he had hoped for.’ A war over Gaza not only allows Netanyahu to show how tough he is when Israel’s security is at stake, but it is also likely to have a ‘rally round the flag’ effect, improving his chances of being re-elected. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to lrb.co.uk

  9. Eva Smagacz
    November 17, 2012, 8:44 pm

    18/11/2012 01:38
    #Gaza MT @Tweet_Palestine: BREAKING: Israeli army & 1 Bulldozer entr Bethlehem city & r now in front of Jasser palace intercontinental hotel

  10. Kathleen
    November 17, 2012, 11:00 pm

    “it’s up to the Israeli government” about how to spend U.S. aid to kill Palestinians. This is what we get out of the puffed up Obama administration. This is the justice we get for working for hundreds of hours for these arrogant Obama characters. Do what you want with the money we give you Israel. Anyone think Obama gave the go ahead before the election, He is still playing softball

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