August 05, 2014
Since the beginning of the assault on Gaza almost a month ago, Israel has repeatedly committed international violations by deliberately targeting civilians and carrying out mass killings, while also targeting UN facilities housing thousands of displaced people who were forced to flee their homes. According to the Ministry of Health, 38 people were killed after Israel targeted three UNRWA schools in Beit Hanoun, Jabalia and Rafah. Tens more were injured.
Schools that have been directly targeted include Al-Maghazi High School for Girls (July 21), Deir Al-Balah High School for Girls (July 23), Beit Hanoun Primary School (July 24), Zaitoun High School for Girls (July 29), Jabalia Primary School for Girls (July 3) and Rafah Primary School for Boys (Aug. 3).
The most recent violations include Israel’s breach of its unilateral truce, which it had announced would start at 10 a.m. Monday. Instead, at 10:15 that morning, two missiles hit a house in a camp on the west coast of Gaza City belonging to the Al-Bakri family. The air strike killed two children from the Al-Bakri family, the eldest just 8 years old and the youngest just a baby. Thirty-six others were injured, bringing the total number of victims on the day of the so-called truce to 56 dead and 198 wounded — nearly half children.
Deaths The Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights has documented that on Aug. 4, the 28th day of the assault, the number of Palestinians killed was 56, including 22 children and nine women. That brings the total number of deaths during the operation to 1,865, of whom 426 were children and 254 were women.
Injuries As a result of the heavy bombardment of the Gaza Strip, 198 people were wounded on Aug. 4, including 72 children and 59 women. In total, since the assault began on July 8, 9,563 individuals have been wounded, including 2,877 children and 1,927 women.
Attacks On Aug. 4, the Israeli military carried out 330 attacks, including 99 from the sea, 34 from the air and 197 from tanks. Since the beginning of the operation, there have been 59,200 Israeli attacks — 36,442 from army tanks, 15,580 by the navy and 7,178 via airstrikes.
Houses Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights has documented a rate of destruction of three houses every hour since the beginning of the bombardment. On Monday, Aug. 4, 121 houses were damaged, 19 completely razed and 102 partially destroyed, bringing the total number of affected homes to 10,604 (1,724 destroyed and 8,880 partially damaged).
Displaced families Meanwhile, Euro-Mid Observer has confirmed the Israeli army’s ongoing use of random artillery shelling to target border areas, forcing the displacement of thousands of residents. As of the evening of Aug. 4, there were more than 475,000 displaced people, some of whom were forced to flee by air raids, with about half escaping to UNRWA schools that are no more secure. Three of these schools were directly targeted, killing 38.
Sacred places Places of worship also have been targeted, with Israeli forces intentionally targeting mosques. The Euro-Mid Observer team reported on Monday the targeting of seven mosques by Israeli warplanes, three of which were completely destroyed and four damaged. The total number of places of worship hit since the beginning of the attack now is 134 (43 mosques completely razed and two churches damaged).
In addition, 11 cemeteries — one Muslim and one Christian — have been damaged as a result of Israeli military strikes.
Schools The number of schools damaged since the start of the offensive now is 188, affecting approximately 152,000 pupils.
Health facilities The Ministry of Health reports that since the beginning of the Israeli assault, it has closed 34 of 55 primary care centres due to direct targeting and residents’ inability to reach them.
Commercial operations Further crippling economy is the total destruction of 315 commercial businesses employing more than 14,000 people — causing an estimated US$812 million in economic losses for Palestinians ($503 million direct and the remainder indirect).