Hamas

Israel Bombs Gaza in Third Day of Violence

Israeli airstrikes have hit a Hamas facility on the third day of violence in the Gaza Strip, as the movement warns it is not seeking war, but will fight incursions.

A Hamas facility was struck by Israeli missiles on Friday, as violence continued for the third day in the Gaza Strip.

Two sets of air raids bombarded the besieged enclave, with missiles landing in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza and the second in Khuzaa, in the south of the territory, Palestinian witnesses confirmed.

An Israeli military statement suggested the “Hamas terror infrastructure” was struck in response to “ongoing attacks” against its forces.

But Hamas claimed it was not seeking war with Israel, however it was merely defending Palestinian territory from the intrusion of Israeli troops.

“We are not calling for a new war, but we will not under any circumstance accept these incursions,” Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Gaza leader said on Friday, adding that Israeli forces had entered “150 to 199 metres (yards)” into the Gaza Strip “under the pretext of searching for tunnels”.

“We sent multiple messages that the resistance will not allow the Israelioccupation army to impose new rules within the borders of the Gaza Strip,” he added.

No casualties were reported on Friday, however a woman was killed just a day earlier when Israeli tanks shelled her home in Gaza.

Late on Thursday afternoon, tank shelling killed Zeina al-Amour, 54. A 21-year-old was also wounded in artillery shelling in the area.

The shelling came after a night in which Israeli air raids on Gaza wounded four people, three of them children, medical and security officials said.

The violence erupted on Wednesday when Israeli forces and heavy military vehicles encroached into the Gaza Strip, prompting Palestinian factions to open fire to push them back.

Israel says its soldiers were searching for tunnels used by Hamas, while Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas figure, said the incursion is an attempt to cement a new border, more than 150 metres from the existing line.

Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the military incursion inside the Gaza Strip.

“The enemy should not invoke any reason whatsoever for its actions and leave the Gaza Strip immediately,” the statement read.

The Qassam Brigades added that Israeli military action marked a breach of the 2014 ceasefire agreed after Israel’s offensive on the enclave two years ago.

Hamas sources told The New Arab that Egyptian and international mediations have led to a deal under which the Israeli army would withdraw from areas on the eastern Gaza border in exchange for a renewed ceasefire.

However, Israeli General Yoav Mordechai denied reports about a ceasefire agreement between the sides.

“The army intends to maintain its activities against Hamas as it continues to breach Israeli sovereignty and build tunnels,” he said in a statement.

Gaza has been devastated by three Israeli wars on the embattled territory since 2008, with virtually no reconstruction amid an Israeli blockade on all imports that could have a “military purposes”.

The last major Israeli onslaught on Gaza was the 51-day war in the summer of 2014, which killed more than 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis, according to the United Nations.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-bombards-gaza-in-third-day-of-violence/5523994

Image Source: https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/5/6/israel-bombards-gaza-in-third-day-of-violence

Israeli Home Strikes Claimed More Than 800 Palestinian Lives

From Common Dreams

At least 844 Palestinians were killed as a result of airstrikes on homes during Israel’s summer attack on Gaza, an Associated Press exclusive analysis has revealed.

The review published Friday found that 508 of the dead—just over 60 percent—were children, women, and older men, all presumed to be civilians. “Hamas says it did not use women as fighters in the war, and an Israel-based research group tracking militants among the dead said it has no evidence women participated in combat,” AP notes.

Among the additional findings:

– Children younger than 16 made up one-third of the total: 280 killed, including 19 babies and 108 preschoolers between the ages of 1 and 5.
– In 83 strikes, three or more members of one family died.
– Among those killed were 96 confirmed or suspected militants—or just over 11 percent of the total—though the actual number could be higher since armed groups have not released detailed casualty lists.
– The remainder of the 240 dead were males between the ages of 16 and 59 whose names did not appear in connection with militant groups on searches of websites or on street posters honoring fighters.

“Either they have the worst army in the world that constantly misses targets and hits civilians, or they are deliberately killing civilians,” Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian spokeswoman, told the AP. If most of those killed are civilians, “you cannot call them collateral damage,” she said.

The results of the AP count, which looked at 247 airstrikes on homes, come on the heels of similar findings released at the end of January by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. That report pointed to three factors behind the high numbers of Palestinian civilian casualties in the more than 70 incidents they investigated: Israeli forces’ overly broad definitions of legitimate military targets, their repeated violations of the “principle of proportionality,” and a lack of or ineffective warnings to civilians that the homes would be targeted.

The organization sent the report to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his response. In a letter, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad wrote: “Senior officials, with you at the helm, backed the strikes, reiterating the argument that the attacks conform to international humanitarian law and eschewing any responsibility for harm to civilians.”

The United Nations reports that in all, 2,205 Palestinians died during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, including at least 1,483 civilians of which more than 500 were children. The 2014 conflict also resulted in the deaths of 67 Israeli soldiers and 5 Israeli citizens.

ICC to probe possible war crimes in Palestine

From Al-Jazeera

Prosecutors at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) will open a preliminary inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories, the first formal step that could lead to charges against officials there and in Israel, the court has said.

They will determine whether preliminary findings merit a full investigation into alleged atrocities, which could result in charges against individuals on either the Israeli or Palestinian side.

“A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation pursuant to the criteria established by the Rome Statute,” the court’s statement said on Friday.

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