Three journalists killed in Gaza as Israel intensifies bombardment after ceasefire failure
Israel intensified its bombardment of the Gaza Strip last night, leaving the current Palestinian death toll at 136, including 92 civilians. The intensification follows the scuppering of a proposed ceasefire, which was supposed to come into effect at midnight on Wednesday. Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the breakdown was due to Israeli demands. Reports from Gaza confirm that 3 journalists have been killed in 2 separate airstrikes yesterday. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned the killings and said that it believes that such crimes are aimed at silencing journalists.
The latest figures from the Irish-Aid funded PCHR confirm that of the 136 Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces, 28 are children and 13 are women and that civilians make up two thirds of the casualties. Of the 941 injuries, 922 are civilians, and numbered among them are 258 children and 149 women.
We spoke to Summer KH who lives in Tel al Hawa in Gaza with her husband and baby daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy. In an impassioned please she said: “Let me ask those working for the protection of human rights and dignity … has my right to life become a dream in Gaza? Has the right of children to enjoy a decent and safe life become a dream? What did we do to this world to be left under the Zionist fire with no real action?”
She continued: “I want to live, but in dignity, and I want to die as well in dignity. Everything is shaking around us and we don’t know where the shells are coming from: land, sea or air? I pray with every beat in my heart to protect all Palestinians here in the Gaza Strip … I don’t feel hopeless, but I’m disappointed by the reaction of the whole world.”
Yesterday UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi visited Gaza. Mr. Grandi emphasised that the immediate issue is to achieve a cease-fire. Mr. Grandi also stressed that we should not forget the underlying issue that Gazans have been living under a blockade that restricts their movement and exports, and has decimated their economy. He said, “The blockade is affecting their daily lives and must be solved.”
IPSC Spokesperson Freda Hughes said: “We are calling for an immediate end to the use of disproportionate force and collective punishment by Israel and an end to the on-going siege of Gaza. Israel needs to immediately stop the bombardment of the Gaza Strip and take Palestinian and international calls for a ceasefire seriously. We call for a campaign of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. This is a peaceful tactic that can enable us to show the Israeli state that its actions have repercussions internationally and that it is no longer acceptable for it to act as it does. The blockade of Gaza must be lifted and the impunity with which Israel acts must be brought to an end.”