Yesterday the UN declared Israel may be guilty of war crimes for their apparent disregard for civilians life and property:
The UN has said Israel may have committed war crimes in its offensive against Hamas in Gaza, in which hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been killed in two weeks. In Geneva the UN human rights council voted to launch an international inquiry, with the US opposing the move and 17 countries abstaining.
"There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes," Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said in the debate.
The Israeli response seems to be retaliation:
The Associated Press has published a longer dispatch from the compound housing a UN school hit, the AP reports, by Israeli tanks shells:Tweet from a CNN correspondent:
Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.
Pools of blood soiled the school courtyard, amid scattered books and belongings. There was a large scorch mark in the courtyard marking the place where one of the tank shells hit.
Bait Hanoun update: 15 dead, and 70 injured, including critical injuries in strike on UN facility sheltering civilians. Chaos. #GazaElsewhere:
— benwedeman (@bencnn) July 24, 2014
Six members of the same family and an 18-month-old infant boy were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit the Jebaliya refugee camp in the early morning hours, according to Gaza police and health officials, the AP reports:NBC Tweet:
Twenty others were injured in the strike, they said, and rescuers were digging through the rubble of flattened homes, looking for survivors.
Ambulances under attack again tdy. Was in one that came under fire in shejaia market. #gaza #israel
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) July 24, 2014
7:28 AM PT: Reuters:
A Reuters photographer at the scene said pools of blood had collected on the ground and on student desks in the courtyard of the school near the apparent impact mark of the shell.
Scores of crying families who had been living in the school ran with their children to the hospital where the victims were being treated a few hundred meters away.
Laila Al-Shinbari, a woman who was at school when it was shelled, told Reuters families had gathered in the courtyard expecting to be evacuated shortly in a Red Cross convoy.
"All of us sat in one place when suddenly four shells landed on our heads ... Bodies were on the ground, (there was) blood and screams. My son is dead and all my relatives are wounded including my other kids," she wept.
7:29 AM PT: Civilians denied opportunity to leave:
Chris Gunness, spokesman for the main U.N. agency in Gaza UNRWA, confirmed the strike and criticised Israel:
"Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army ... Over the course of the day UNRWA tried to coordinate with the Israeli Army a window for civilians to leave and it was never granted," Gunness said on his Twitter page.
7:47 AM PT: Video from this week showing a Palestinian man being killed by sniper fire while searching for family with International Aid workers during a ceasefire:
Bombed and battered by Israeli air and firepower, they are dying in scores, victims alike of their own leadership and Israeli ruthlessness.
Some of the dead are Hamas fighters. But many others are women, children, the helpless old. Israel is exacting vengeance at its usual tariff for Hamas rocketing, and the murder of three Israeli students by terrorists. For each Israeli killed, the lives of many times that number of Palestinians are forfeit.
Israel says: they started it; we have a right to retribution. But much of the world says: the Jewish people have been historic standard-bearers for civilisation. Does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign in Gaza represent that — or instead barbarism?
Israel’s tragedy is that the only democracy in the Middle East has fallen prey to a succession of Right-wing governments, which derive much of their electoral strength from Russian emigres and extremist religious parties.
Al Jazeera’s bureau in Gaza came under fire on Tuesday morning during an intensive bombardment campaign by the Israeli army. Al Jazeera correspondents reportedly collected large bullets from around the building, with other nearby buildings left untouched. No one has been injured.
Al Jazeera said it believes it is being targeted by the Israeli army after Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quoted by local media as saying his country will work to shut down Al Jazeera’s operations in Gaza.
U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, "We are deeply saddened and concerned about the tragic incident at the UN Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] school and about the rising civilian death toll in Gaza. We convey our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and injured in this incident, as well as the UN staff. We again urge all parties to redouble their efforts to protect civilians.
"This also underscores the need to end the violence and to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and enduring resolution to the crisis in Gaza as soon as possible.
5:11 PM PT: Dkos'er PeterHug sent me this Msg and I agree, so I''ll just post in in whole:
I think that you should update your diary so people realize that no one - not even the Israelis - appear to be claiming that there were weapons at the school.
I certainly haven't been able to find any claim, and there is a lot of misguided discussion in the comments about this. I checked the Time, Al Jazeera, and CBS stories - the Time one has been updated to suggest that the source of the fire has not yet been confirmed, but NONE of them suggested that the Israelis are claiming weapons, Hamas personnel, or fire coming from the school.