The situation for the residents of Gaza and the aid workers who are trying to help them is dire.
Fears of a humanitarian crisis have also grown in recent days, as the strip, home to 1.5 million people, is already suffering shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies due to a two-year economic blockade imposed by Israel.
The International Committee for the Red Cross said on Sunday its medical emergency team had been prevented for a third day from entering the territory.
Egypt has also completely closed the Rafah crossing, cutting off aid supplies to the territory.
The UN has warned that there were “critical gaps” in aid reaching Gaza, despite claims from Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, that there was no crisis and that aid was getting through.
Christopher Gunness, the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) spokesman, said the idea that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, was absurd.
“The organisation for which I work – Unrwa – has approximately 9,000 to 10,000 workers on the ground. They are speaking with the ordinary civilians in Gaza… People are suffering. A quarter of all those being killed now are civilians. So when I hear people say we’re doing our best to avoid civilian casualties that rings very hollow indeed.”
About 250,000 people in the northern part of Gaza are also reported to be without electricity. The main power plant has been shut down for lack of fuel due to Israel’s blockade.
According to the Palestinian Information Centre:
Israeli troops stepped up its campaign of terror and murder against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip and killed 70 civilians on Sunday, raising the number of Palestinians killed to 520.
After a number of its tanks and soldiers were ambushed by the Palestinian resistance, the Israeli occupation took its revenge on civilians by targeting houses.
Medical sources said on Sunday that since the start of ground offensive, on Saturday night the number of Palestinians killed reached seventy, 23 of them children in addition to a number of women and old people. A hundred others were wounded.
The same sources said that the vast majority of the casualties were civilians, and that ambulance teams could not reach some areas that came under attack because of the continued shelling from air, sea and land.
In the northern Gaza Strip the IOF troops shelled a number of homes killing 12 people, including two children.
According to locals, nine people were killed in an airstrike that targeted a group of people outside the Abu Obeida school in Beit Lahya, in the northern Gaza Strip, the same area was targeted again, killing 3 paramedics attending the wounded.
This is not the first time ambulance crews have been targeted; six Palestinian paramedics were killed previously bring to 9 the number of paramedics killed in the past nine days.
In fact there are fears that hospitals might be targeted, this is indicated by claims of the Israeli occupation FM, Tzipi Livni, that Palestinian resistance uses hospitals as hideouts.
Celebrated journalist and writer Amira Hass describes the ordeal of a Palestinian families during the commencement of the invasion – Israel has definitely lost whatever marbles it ever had.
Three hours after the Israel Defense Forces began their ground operation in the Gaza Strip, at about 10:30 P.M. Saturday night, a shell or missile hit the house owned by Hussein al A’aiedy and his brothers. Twenty-one people live in the isolated house, located in an agricultural area east of Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Five of them were wounded in the strike: Two women in their eighties (his mother and aunt), his 14-year-old son, his 13-year-old niece and his 10-year-old nephew.
Twenty hours later, the wounded were still bleeding in a shed in the courtyard of the house. There was no electricity, no heat, no water. Their relatives were with them, but every time they tried to leave the courtyard to fetch water, the army shot at them.
What sort of army shoots at people seeking water?
Here’s a summary of a statement from Al Aqsa TV which is broadcasting from an unknown location on and off on the Frequency 10872/Vertical:
Al-Aqsa TV/ Abu Ubaida Spokesperson for Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades (EQB) Translated and Summarized from Arabic :
Started out by stating that all of this is a political stunt by the ‘Heads in Israel’ that will roll come next February (referring to Israeli elections) for failing to achieve proposed goals of Military Operation in Gaza.
Then stated some of the achievements of the EQB
* Forcing a helicopter down after targeting it with continuous gun power.
* Destroying one tank using B-29 (used for the first time) RPG near Hiy Al-Tuffah in #Gaza
* One soldier carrier destroyed using Stardock missiles for the first time
* Bombing multiple Military bases in occupied territory one of which was Hatsoor Military Air Base.
* Brigades take POW named Jilaad Shareef
EQB will continue to launch missiles into Occupied Territories (Israel) military bases and if occupation forces continue to destroy homes and kill civilians threatening to expand the areas targeted by their missiles in Israel.