Death Toll Rises To 390
By Sameh A. Habeeb
Gaza Strip, 30 Dec, 2008-Israeli air force still launching the heaviest bombardments in Gaza ever. The fourth day of Israeli military operation started with heavy bombings west of Gaza City in addition to killing 2 children and around 10 in various places in Gaza to raise death toll to 390 while wounded people up to one thousand and most of them civilians.
The Israeli announced decapitation strategy of targeting Hamas movement and avoiding civilians clearly unveiled. The F16s targeted a group of governmental building using tons of explosion resulting in killing at least 4 Palestinians. The bombings lasted for 30 minutes echoed across Gaza City causing great trauma and panic for civilians. Total damage stormed the buildings while partially destroyed some neighboring populated buildings.
Israeli warplanes, drones, artillery machines, and apache helicopters broadly took part in the nightly raids. Israeli air raids destroyed a sport club and a building inside the Islamic University of Gaza IUG. IUG was hit Monday night and 2 building were destroyed. One of the destroyed building was the laboratory funded by Islamic Development Bank estimated of millions of dollars.
The bombings continued for the whole night in separated areas in Gaza Strip. Many civic targets were bombs including mosques in Khanyonis City. Old man was killed in south of Gaza in Rafah City.
A run-Hamas police station was hit in El Burej refugee camp mid of Gaza and another one in Bait lahia. The naval forces participated in bombing Gaza destroying many buildings and premises on the coastal areas. Information office I linked to Popular Resistance Committees based in a residential building was hit and medical sources reported some that some people wounded in the raid.
Tuesday morning two female children aged 4 and 11 years killed in North of Gaza while they were on a donkey-driven carriage. The bombing of these children debunks the Israeli allegation of only targeting Hamas militants. They were bombed by High-tech F16 in daylight.
A boat sailing from Cyrprus to Gaza loaded with 3 tons of medical aids was not far away from Israeli army fire. The boat was hit despite it was not loaded with weapons for Hamas which is clearly deflate the Israeli propaganda. The boat was exposed to fire of Israeli naval gunboats and partial damage took place in the body of the boat. The relief boat still in the territorial waters and it's seeking a seaport to anchor.
On the midday of Tuesday, a new phase of the military operation started. F16s started to break the sound barrier of Gaza. Raids of sonic bombs occurred causing a trauma and panic atmosphere across Gaza residents.
The death toll has reached 390 with more than 1,700 injured, 2 hundreds are in critical conditions while there is a severe shortages in medicines. Medical sources announced a collapse in medical sector and Gaza hospitals. Muhamad El Khozndar a doctor at Al Sehfa' hospital said on a local radio station that Gaza hospitals are no longer working properly. Bandaging stuff, medical tools, medical machines and general cleaning unavailable at the hospitals. Additionally, windows of the hospitals crashed due to a nearby bombings hit a mosque.
The early hours of Tuesday night witnessed a set of Israeli missiles west of Gaza City. Medical reports said a number of injured arrived to Al shifa' hospital including some casualties. Many tanks shelled the norther eastern area of Gaza City.
It's remarkable that humanitarian stage in Gaza is totally collapsed and disastrous as aspects life vanished. All oil derivatives of fuel, gasoline and cocking gas unavailable in Gaza due to a siege imposed two years ago. Bread, milk, rice, sugar, cooking oil are not available and what is inside Gaza is limited quantities stored at homes.
Add to that, it is very dangerous for people to leave their house in search of food supplies. Any mobile car, bicycle or walking persons turned to targets for Israeli military machine.
Main Military Actions in Day 4
*Casualties of Israeli heavy bombings reached 360 while wounded rise up to 1800 persons, a big number of them civilians. Around 200 in critical conditions and they are exposed to slow death due to lack of medicines.
*Israel started the day with 20 heavy missiles of F16s. The bombardments targeted governmental offices and damaged some houses nearby. The sound of bombings echoed in all Gaza city resulting in a panic status and trauma for children.
*Two siblings aged 4 and 11 years killed in Israeli air raid north of Gaza town of Bait Lahia.
*Many houses shelled in the early morning in the North of Gaza. Victims of the north area are 60 alone.
*Neither fuel, nor gasoline nor Benzin in Gaza. Power cuts up to 21 hours.
*Israeli navy fired on the dignity boat and hurting it. The boat was to deown and now it has gone to Lebanon ports. The boat was loaded with 3 tons of Medical aids needed to Gaza hospitals.
sector collapsed in Gaza. Doctors request medical airplane to evacuate
wounded people who are slowly dying. Only 10 wounded left to Egypt
due to lack of Ambulances equipped with ICU.
*Windows of Al shifa' hospital destroyed in bombings nearby while stormy and rainy weather in
*Two Israelis killed in Palestinian homemade rockets.
Sameh A. Habeeb, B.A.
Photojournalist & Peace Activist
Humanitarian, Child Relief Worker
Gaza Strip, Palestine
Skype: Gazatoday, Facebook: Sameh A. habeeb