Day Seven of Israeli Attack on Gaza: Death toll rises to 141, over 900 injured; No ceasefire yet; Palestinian journalists killed

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Gaza strike
Palestinian firemen working in front of the al-Shorouq building, a media center, which was hit by two missiles on the first floor, Gaza city, November 2012. As a result of it, Ramez Najeeb Harb, 36, the media officer of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) was killed and another member of Islamic Jihad was wounded. Photo by Anne Paq/

This post is a continually updated news resource. Click on the links for Mondoweiss’ coverage of Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4Day 5; and Day 6 of the Israeli attack on Gaza.

The day began with high hopes for a halting of the Israeli bombardment and rocket attacks on Israel, but the latest news is that there will be no cease-fire tonight. Reports streamed in throughout the day from various media outlets that a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian factions, brokered by Egypt, would take place at midnight tonight (Gaza time). 

But the latest news out of Israel/Palestine indicates that the bombing continues, and with it rocket attacks into Israel. The death toll has continued to rise for Palestinians in Gaza today. The latest count, according to Ma’an News, is that 141 Palestinians have been killed and over 900 injured. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reports that 70 civilians have been killed by Israeli strikes, and 786 civilians injured. Of the civilians dead, 23 are children. 19 people were killed today, according to Haaretz.

Israelis also suffered casualties today. Two people were killed in two separate attacks on the Eshkol Regional Council. One of the dead was an Israeli soldier; the other was a civilian.

Al Jazeera English has more on the potential ceasefire:

A Hamas official has said that the anticipated announcement of a truce agreement with Israel has been delayed.

Ezzat al-Rishq told Reuters news agency that there would be no announcement until Wednesday.

“The Israeli side has not responded yet, so we will not hold a (news) conference this evening and must wait until tomorrow,” said Rishq.

“The truce is now held up because we are waiting for the Israeli side to respond.”

Al Jazeera English also has what it says are the details of what is contained in the ceasefire agreement:

“It’s one thing for this agreement to be signed, it’s quite another for it to be implemented,” said [Al Jazeera’s Peter] Greste.

“But here’s what we do understand is to be contained in this agreement: Firstly, that Israel has agreed to stop targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders. Secondly, that Hamas has agreed to stop firing rockets over the border into Israel,” said Greste.

“Thridly, that the border restrictions into Gaza will be eased, but we don’t know quite what that means – we don’t know what restrictions will be lifted.”

He added that Egypt would be the guarantor of the agreement.

Haaretz reported further on why the ceasefire did not come today:

Following a day of intense diplomatic efforts, and grueling negotiations in Cairo, a statement on a cease-fire in Gaza, due to come into effect midnight Tuesday, was postponed in the last minute. Egyptian officials and senior Hamas operatives indicated that an Israeli request was the reason for the delay, and that talks would resume on Wednesday morning.

A senior Israeli official said the latest draft compiled by Egyptian intelligence officials wasn’t favored Israel. Though the Egyptians adopted Hamas’ stances on some points, especially with regards to everything doing with opening border crossings, loosening the blockade, and annulling the 500-meter security zone on Gaza’s side of the border, to which Israel bars the entrance of Palestinians.

“These aren’t [former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak and [former Egyptian Vice President] Omar Suleiman, who reviled Hamas,” the senior official said, adding: “Today it’s [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi who’s calling the shots.”=

Hamas has agreed in the past to truces with Israel without the end of the blockade, though the truce that held (until Israel broke it) in the run-up to Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09 did reportedly have the end of the blockade as a stipulation. The details of that agreement were never published.

As it became clear that there would be no ceasefire today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the region and held a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Clinton is in the region to urge a “deescalation” of the situation in Gaza, and will be speaking with both Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi. 

Palestinians in the West Bank are planning a demonstration tomorrow to protest Clinton meeting with Abbas.

Earlier in the day on the American front, the U.S. government “blocked a U.N. Security Council call for an immediate cease-fire in Israel’s weeklong offensive in Gaza against Hamas,” the Associated Press reported. The reason? The statement did not blame the escalation on rockets from Gaza. 

Attacks on journalists in Gaza continued. Two employees of the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV were killed, and an employee of Al Quds Educational Radio was killed as well. Ma’an has the details:

Three Palestinian journalists were killed in Israeli airstrikes on central and northern Gaza Tuesday evening, after media buildings were hit by Israeli warplanes two days in a row.

Mahmoud al-Koumi and Husam Salameh, both cameramen for al-Aqsa TV, were killed in an airstrike on a car near al-Wihda towers in the Gaza City.

Both men were 30-years-old and the father of four children.

Palestinian press freedom group Mada said the journalists were traveling in an Al-Aqsa TV car marked with a press sign.Two others were injured in the strike, medics said.

Another airstrike killed Muhammad Abu Aisha, the director of Al-Quds Educational Radio, in his car in Deir al-Balah.

Their deaths have sparked outrage among Gaza’s press corps. Mada condemned the strike as a “heinous crime … (and) a flagrant breach of the international conventions that protect journalists.”

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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10 Responses

  1. Avi_G.
    November 20, 2012, 5:09 pm

    What’s really instructive about the mainstream media is the disparity in the reporting.

    Israelis are shown running around in panic with an alarm blaring in the background, and yet some fizzing bottle rocket is the only threat they face.

    Meanwhile, Palestinians are experiencing great destruction, pain and suffering, but the media glosses over them as though they were insignificant sub-humans.

    And if the media does choose to report about one little Palestinian girl or another infant Palestinian boy, it frames their suffering as Hamas’ responsibility. Israel is NEVER EVER to blame, so goes the propaganda.

    • seafoid
      November 20, 2012, 5:40 pm

      Israel’s Prime Minister – this is a stunner

      “The moment we draw symmetry between the victims of terror and the unintended casualties that result from legitimate military action against the terrorists, the minute that false symmetry is drawn, the terrorists win.”

      This is the kind of horsesh$t tht is force fed to Israeli kids all through their education.

      Dear Mrs Dalua

      Do you understand? 11 members of your family were killed but Hamas are the terrorists .
      Israel is trying to help you although unfortunately your family was chosen to meet the quota for today’s unintended casualties.

      • piotr
        November 20, 2012, 6:53 pm

        Clearly, Netanyahu has guts: very low bar for “the terrorist win”. Any trance of symmetry has to be stamped out. It is somewhat easy with media that needs antennas and other equipment that can be peacefully confiscated in Ramallah and obliterated together with human garbage underneath (“so-called journalists”).

        But the evil forces of symmetry use e-zines, and some even crawl into columns of NYT, as Robert Murdoch sagely observed (perhaps “Jew-owned media” includes as well?).

        Angry Arab linked to interview of Israeli spokesman at al-Jazeera. He presented the case for bombing so-called journalists very well, but I had some doubts. Some worked for al-Quds (??), apparently propaganda outfit like TASS was. I do not recall TASS being a target of bombardment, surely oversight. Thinking about it, al-Jazeera is a government propaganda outfit too, and perhaps Mr. Regev himself … I am clearly not adept at asymmetric thinking.

    • Citizen
      November 20, 2012, 7:31 pm

      @ AVI_G

      On CNN, Fox, MSNBC, the presentations are at best, a collectively modest “both sides are suffering equally due to the rocket attacks, with special focus on examples of Israelis suffering.”

  2. Abierno
    November 20, 2012, 5:47 pm

    In evaluation of the intensity of Israel’s current attacks, it would be instructive to
    note the large numbers of cluster bombs dropped in the South of Lebanon hours
    prior to signing a ceasefire. Clusterbombs for which Israel declined to give information either to the Lebonese or the UN as to where they had been dropped
    (as both parties attempted to remove them) and which have injured and maimed
    numerous adults and children in Lebanon as time has passed.

    • piotr
      November 20, 2012, 6:57 pm

      Allegedly IDF had some moldy storage of very old cluster bombs that they emptied for the occasion of impending ceasefire and now this stuff is gone. Cluster bombs are like good wines — they need aging to create desirable high percentage of unexploded ordnance. Simply dropping cluster bombs that completely explode while the population sits in basements far from harm is just pointless.

      This explains very modest use of cluster bombs in Gaza. Instead the objective was to destroy as many buildings as possible while trying to preserve human lives. Only a bit above 1000 killed while 30,000 buildings were destroyed was the proud record, widely cited by Reform Rabbis and other friends of Israel (“unprecedented measures to protect innocent lives”).

    • Castellio
      November 21, 2012, 12:59 am

      Declined, and still decline to give information necessary for their removal. That in itself, you’d think, would be a small item: apparently not.

  3. YoungMassJew
    November 20, 2012, 6:51 pm

    “Holocaust, you’ve taste the great fear. How can you just occupy another child’s tear?” -Serj Tankian

  4. YoungMassJew
    November 20, 2012, 7:03 pm

    “Holocaust, you’ve taste the great fear. How could you just occupy another child’s tear?”
    -Serj Tankian.
    I should be blasting this song in front of the Israeli consulate at the Park Plaza Hotel in downtown Boston right now.

  5. YoungMassJew
    November 20, 2012, 8:33 pm

    This is what one fellow birthrighter from my group 357 wrote to me in response to a article I posted that Phil wrote titled “Israeli hasbara cartoon features white man fighting jungle animals.” This from a graduate of a prestegious university in Washington D.C. : “Your points reflect an intellectual deficiency undeserving of a my time and of the group’s time. Kindly remove yourself from the conversation and the group. Also, perhaps you could consider ceasing to express your opinions altogether so long as they’re going to be as embarrassing to Jews as they have been to this point.

    Thanks in advance,

    Group 357”
    Possibly a grand total of one person in my birthright group has come around to my position and believes me, although she won’t state the truth outright and dances around the obvious. She has a high profile position in J-Street.
    Like MRW stated these are all highly educated people of the top income bracket who have been completely brainwashed or know that truth but are just disgusting racists and don’t give a damn that innocent civilians are being butchered. Yup, their all high on their chosenness. It’s all double-speak at this point; they won’t even engage in a fact-based reality. Phil, I’m not sure what you can accomplish at this point. Even when you expose the Israeli-psyche, like you have in a brilliant manner in your interviews, it doesn’t change anything for the innocent Palestinians that are being massacred which are being supported by American tax-payers. I don’t think anyone can stop a country descending into fascism if you look at history as a guide.

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