Palestinian women mourn during the funeral of the Dalou family. 12 family members were killed in an Israeli strike yesterday (Photo: AFP)
As regional efforts to broker a cease-fire continue, Israeli forces have bombarded the Gaza Strip for six days. The death and injury toll for Palestinians in Gaza continues to rise.
According to Ma’an News, 115 Palestinians have been killed since the start of Israel’s “Operation Pillar of Defense.” Over 900 have been injured since Wednesday, when the assault started. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has continued to document the toll of the assault on Gaza:
The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli Occupation Forces in the course of the offensive on the Gaza Strip, that is ongoing for the sixth consecutive day, has increased to 87, including 58 civilians. The civilian deaths include 18 children and 12 women. Over the past 24 hours, many civilian casualties, mostly women and children, have been reported, as Israeli forces have bombarded populated houses, in the vast majority of cases without any prior warning. A number of houses have been destroyed over their residents, causing several civilian casualties. Additionally, Israeli forces have attacked civilian and governmental facilities located in densely-populated areas, and a number of civilian vehicles.
That number is likely to rise as Israeli airstrikes continue to pound Gaza. Ma’an has details on a new Israeli strike that killed another family:
Israeli airstrikes on the northern Gaza Strip killed a family of four on Monday, as Israel continued to bombard the coastal enclave for a sixth day, Ma’an’s reporter said.
Foad Hijazi, Amna Hijazi and their two children Suhaib and Muhammad were killed when their home in Beit Lahiya was hit by an airstrike.
Twelve people were reported injured in the attack.
The strike on the Hijazi family comes a day after an Israeli airstrike wiped out 12 members of the same family. The New York Times‘ Jodi Rudoren reported from the funeral ceremony in Gaza today:
There were few if any visible tears at the intense, chaotic, lengthy funeral on Monday of Jamal and seven relatives, among 12 people killed the day before in the single deadliest attack since the latest hostilities between Israel and the Gaza Strip began Wednesday following months of Palestinian militant rocket fire into Israel. Instead, there were fingers jabbing the air to signal “Allah is the only one,” defiant chants about resistance and calls for revenge, flags in the signature green of Hamas and the white of its Al Qassam Brigades.
At the destroyed Dalu family home, a man climbed atop the pile of rubble where a dozen photographers had positioned themselves and hoisted the body of one of the four slain children into the air several times, as though a totem. At the mosque, the eulogy was disrupted by the sound of missile launched toward Israel from nearby. And at the cemetery, a Qassam commander addressed himself not to the mourners but to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, warning, “We still have so much in our pockets, and we will show you if we have to.”
Earlier today, a media building in Gaza City was targeted for the second time in two days. An Islamic Jihad leader, the alleged target of the strike, was killed. More from The Guardian:
The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad has confirmed that one of its top leaders was killed in the strike today on the Shurooq media building, writes Tom McCarthy. Locals initially thought the dead man was the owner of a computer store on the third storey of the city centre building, Reuters reported. At least one person was wounded in the attack. Most members of the media evacuated the building after it was first hit yesterday. The Shurooq building housed both local Arab and international media agencies such as al-Arabiya, al-Quds TV, Sky News, France 24 and Russia TV.
The continued pounding of Gaza by Israeli airstrikes, and rockets back into Israel from Palestinian factions, is occurring as intensive efforts to broker a cease-fire continue. The Haaretz live blog has details on the talks. At 10:00 PM (Israeli and Palestinian time), Haaretz reported that the cabinet of 9 senior ministers was meeting to discuss a cease-fire. Later, Haaretz reported:
Netanyahu rejects French-Qatari cease-fire initiatives. PM tells French foreign minister that Israel is not interested in French or Qatari mediation and prefers to avoid any moves that might interfere with the Egyptian mediation.
In Egypt, Hamas has been demanding the end of the Israeli blockade and airstrikes as conditions of the cease-fire. Hamas has agreed to cease-fires in the past without the condition of ending the blockade, though. For its part, Israel wants an end to arms smuggling.
Two Palestinians from the West Bank have also died due to Israeli attacks on demonstrations in support of Gaza. Mondoweiss has more on the death of Rushdi Tamimi here. Al Jazeera reports on the death of another protester:
A second person died on Monday of wounds sustained from an earlier protest.
Protests broke out in Hebron’s Old City after which Palestinian protesters were pushed back into the centre of the city by Israeli security forces.
According to witnesses, Hamdi al-Falah, 17 years old, was shot four times by Israeli troops.
“He was going to his house, there were clashes nearby and he might have been protesting. He got shot once in the leg, one in the arm, one in the chest and one in his head,” a Hebron resident told Al Jazeera.
And CNN has released the results of a poll that show widespread American support for the Israeli assault, though Democratic Party support did not crack 50%. Less Democrats support the assault now when compared to Cast Lead. More from CNN:
A majority of Americans say that Israel’s current military strikes against Gaza are justified, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates that 57% of the public says Israel is justified in taking military action in Gaza against Hamas, with one in four saying the attacks are unjustified…
“Although most Americans think the Israeli actions are justified, there are key segments of the public who don’t necessarily feel that way,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Only four in ten Democrats think the Israeli actions in Gaza are justified, compared to 74% of Republicans and 59% of independents. Support for Israel’s military action is 13 points higher among men than among women, and 15 points higher among older Americans than among younger Americans.”
According to the survey, nearly six in ten say their sympathies are with the Israelis, with 13% saying they side more with the Palestinians and 11% saying their sympathies are with neither side in the conflict.