The heaviest night of bombing in three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting in the Gaza Strip took place last night as Israeli aircraft, tanks and navy gunboats struck symbols of Hamas control.The escalation came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a “prolonged” campaign in Gaza, shattering hopes of a peacefire. “We will continue to act aggressively and responsibly until the mission is completed to protect our citizens, soldiers and children.” The attack came despite a UN request for ceasefire on the holy occasion of Eid, a major Muslim holiday.
The night sky turned bright orange as clouds of thick dust rose from the explosions. Amongst targets struck were the home of the ex-Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, as well as government offices and the headquarters of the Hamas satellite TV station, Al-Aqsa TV.
Associated Press reported on the Israeli airstrike that hit the compound of Gaza City’s main hospital causing an unknown numnber of casualties. Children playing at the park of the Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza were also struck with 10 people dead and 46 people injured. The IDF also tweeted: “Since the beginning of the operation #IDF has documented approximately 200 rockets & mortars that landed short within #Gaza.”
The death toll on the large-scale Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been going on since July 8 has reached 1,101 people, including around 200 people. Over 6,500 have been injured, most of them being civilians, including women and children.