Day Two of Israeli Assault on Gaza: 19 killed in Gaza, including 7 children, over 150 injured; 3 Israelis killed near Ashkelon

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Columns of smoke in Gaza city. (Photo: AP)

Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip has entered its second day. Ma’an News gives the latest casualty figures in Gaza:

The death toll in the Gaza Strip rose to 15 on Thursday as a Palestinian child succumbed to wounds sustained earlier and a man’s body was found buried in the rubble of an Israeli airstrike.

Eighteen-month-old Walid al-Abadleh succumbed to his injuries sustained in an Israeli airstrike east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza early Thursday.

The body of a 52-year-old man was also pulled out of the rubble of an airstrike in the al-Amoudi area in the northern Gaza Strip.

Overall, medics say 15 have died and 150 were injured in the 24 hours since Israel began a major escalation in the Gaza Strip and assassinated a senior Hamas military commander.

At around noon eastern time, a rocket fired reportedly by Islamic Jihad hit a suburb of Tel Aviv.  No casualties have been reported. During a press call organized by the Institute for Middle East Understanding, the Palestine Center’s Yousef Munayyer wondered whether the rocket striking near Tel Aviv meant that a further escalation, and perhaps a ground invasion, was on its way.

In other news, the Egyptian government has announced that their prime minister, Hisham Kandil, will “make a one-day visit to Gaza on Friday in a show of support for the Palestinian enclave,” according to Reuters. 

Three Israelis were killed when a rocket hit their home in Kiryat Malakhi, a town about 10 miles from Ashkelon. Israel claims that 138 missiles from Gaza have exploded in Israeli territory and the IDF announced it has attacked 227 Gaza targets. Israeli news outlet Channel 10 reports that 70 Israelis have been injured due to Palestinian rocket fire.

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A destroyed kitchen inside a house of a Israeli family in the city of Kiryat Malachi, after a rocket fired from Gaza hit the house, November 15, 2012. (Photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills)

The Israeli bombardment shows no signs of abating, and on Wednesday night Haaretz reported that the Israeli “security cabinet authorized the IDF to draft reserve soldiers in order to expand the Gaza operation if necessary.”

Meanwhile, Haaretz has more details showing why this Israeli military operation was unnecessary. The Israeli daily interviews peace activist Gershon Baskin, who claims that “Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the ceasefire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip.” More from Haaretz:

Baskin told Haaretz on Thursday that senior officials in Israel knew about his contacts with Hamas and Egyptian intelligence aimed at formulating the permanent truce, but nevertheless approved the assassination.

“I think that they have made a strategic mistake,” Baskin said, an error “which will cost the lives of quite a number of innocent people on both sides.”

“This blood could have been spared. Those who made the decision must be judged by the voters, but to my regret they will get more votes because of this,” he added.

Baskin made Jabari’s acquaintance when he served as a mediator between David Meidin, Israel’s representative to the Shalit negotiations, and Jabari. “Jabari was the all-powerful man in charge. He always received the messages via a third party, Razi Hamad of Hamas, who called him Mister J.”

Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer speaks to Democracy Now.

The U.S. State Department released a statement yesterday defending Israel’s actions. “We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence,” spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. 

The Obama administration’s support for Israel is on the minds of many Palestinians in Gaza. There was “the green light from the American administration,” said Amjad Shawa, director of the Gaza office of the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network, during a press call organized by the Institute for Middle East Understanding. 

Steve Sosebee, President and chief executive of Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, blasted the U.S.’s stance on the conflict. “We were founded on the ideals of democracy and justice, yet those same ideals are not applied to Palestinians,” he said. “That’s a violation of our basic values, and a certain level of hypocrisy from our officials who are bought off by people who don’t share those values.”

Mondoweiss has been closely following the escalation in the Gaza Strip. See these links for more of our coverage:

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine

{ 15 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. evolvetobe says:

    Steve Sosebee, President and chief executive of Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, blasted the U.S.’s stance on the conflict. “We were founded on the ideals of democracy and justice, yet those same ideals are not applied to Palestinians,” he said. “That’s a violation of our basic values, and a certain level of hypocrisy from our officials who are bought off by people who don’t share those values.”

    Them damn Jews throwing their money around. Why … that’s darnright… unAmerican!

    • Mooser says:

      “Them damn Jews throwing their money around. Why … that’s darnright… unAmerican!”

      So you are saying that the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund is an anti-Semitic organisation? And that Steve Sosebee’s statement is actuated by anti-Semitism?
      And you think your charactersation of his statement is accurate? That he is invoking the anti-Semitic stereotype of the ‘rich Jew’?

      And are you so desperate, you need to try and smear the president of a children’s relief fund?

  2. giladg says:

    Democracy Now is a joke. Hours before Jaabari was taken out, rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. But Democracy Now categorically states that Israel broke the agreement, an agreement that at that point, never existed. Democracy Now even backs this up by saying that Jaabari received a “draft” copy of an agreement that was being worked out just a few hours before he was sent to meet his maker. There exist a lot of daylight between a draft copy and an actual one. Democracy Now makes a mockery out bringing you the truth.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      Go find one of the falling rockets and stand under it. You people have been assaulting the Gazans with your illegal policy of turning it into a new-style Warsaw ghetto for years now. You’re not innocent. Childrens’ blood is on your hand.

    • Ellen says:

      well, CNN might also be a joke but they just made the same argument.

      That Jaabari had a truce agreement in place and was duly assasinated.

      BTW, CNBC charactirizes this deeply depressing (for all sides) unfolding event as an Israeli Agression. It surely is not a defense.

      • Mayhem says:

        A truce or hudna can be for any duration, ideally not for too long to slow down jihad. To believe that a proven terrorist could bring about positive change in the Middle East is absurd.

        • To believe that a proven terrorist could bring about positive change in the Middle East is absurd.

          does that also hold true for a proven terrorists state as well?

          Israeli officials ordered the hit on Jabari despite knowing about the truce draft, Baskin told Haaretz.

        • gamal says:

          “ideally not for too long to slow down jihad. To believe that a proven terrorist could bring about positive change in the Middle East is absurd.” you can not see how absurd this argument is, how could an outlaw make any positive contribution to peace, if you would obey the law all would be well no one is asking any more than their legal rights, so long as they are accounted as bearing those rights. as if you didn’t know, vile man, liar, you have the audacity to claim a place amongst civilized people referencing the violence that your illegality has occasioned as an indictment against the resistant victims, give them drones and f16 then as per ponti corvo are all white people idiots?

        • eljay says:

          >> To believe that a proven terrorist could bring about positive change in the Middle East is absurd.

          It’s pretty absurd to think that an oppressive, colonialist, expansionst and Zio-supremacist state like Israel could bring about positive change in the Middle East.

      • giladg says:

        Two wrongs don’t make a right. The fact that both CNN and CNBC reported similar things in this case tells us more about how they are leaches and feed of each other, whilst distorting the facts in order to push an agenda. It’s no wonder that CNN’s ratings continue to fall.

    • ToivoS says:

      I read today (sorry no link) that Israel has mobilized 25,000 people to work the net and various blogs supporting Israel’s latest incursion into Gaza. I was worried to not see them show up here (does that mean MW is no longer of concern to the Zionist??). Thank-you giladg for letting me known that my worry was premature.

      With respect to your point it is true that Jaabari only received a draft copy of a potential agreement. It was not official. He was in communication with the Egyptians. He was also likely in the process of bringing the various militias into some sort of agreement. Since Israel seems to desire war they had to stop the process. And boy did they succeed. It was understood that Jaabari was the only leader in Gaza who could bring all of those competing factions into an agreement.

      This must reflect very badly on the Morsi governement. I am guessing that they informed the Israelis that Jaabari was working on the problem, which means he would have to travel around Gaza to communicate with the other factions so Israel knew he would be out in the open and vulnerable to a missile attack.

      The lesson from this: do not negotiate with the Israelis. They are just too devious.

      • seafoid says:

        “The lesson from this: do not negotiate with the Israelis. They are just too devious.”

        That lesson goes back way beyond 1948

        The Balfour declaration- to do nothing to reduce the rights of the indigenous people – this was discarded
        The villages who did not fight in 48 because they had good relations with Zionists were ethnically cleansed regardless.
        1979 Egyptian peace deal stipulated a withdrawal to Green line- never happened
        82 PLO Beirut withdrawal – Israel assured that women and children would be safe – Sabra followed
        My camera film, 2003 that they said they never touched at the airport- ruined

        Never trust a land junkie

  3. Mooser says:

    “You’re not innocent. Childrens’ blood is on your hand.”

    And then, there’s what he does with the other one. Yecchh!
    Oh, I shouldn’t be so sqeamish about it, hasbara has got to come from somewhere.

  4. kalithea says:

    Here’s the actual link of the charred baby girl.:

    link to friday-lunch-club.blogspot.ca