Jul 14 2014
While many people the world over were watching the World Cup finals over the weekend, the besieged Gaza strip continued to be bombarded by Israeli forces. On Saturday Israel struck a center for people with disabilities, and, in a separate incident, killed 17 members of a single family including several children. According to the UN 77% of the 156 Palestinians killed so far are civilians.
Whole families began fleeing as Israeli authorities made phone calls and dropped leaflets over Gaza warning people to flee ahead of even more airstrikes. Some fled by car, while others rode donkey carts or walked.
Israel and Lebanon also exchanged crossfire over the past several days and volleys of rockets from Hamas-controlled territory were also reported, many of which were intercepted by Israel’s so-called Iron Dome missile defense system. One of the rockets badly injured a 16-year old Israeli boy in Ashkelon, the first known casualty of the rocket fire.
Amid reports that Israeli ground troops would be deployed, one brief incursion into Gaza took place by 4 soldiers who were apparently deployed to dismantle a rocket launching site in Northern Gaza.
Britain and France have called on Israel for a cease-fire and the United Nations unanimously passed a non- binding resolution calling for the same.
The United Nations reported that at least 17,000 people have been displaced in just the past week, many of them sheltering in UN relief buildings.
GUEST: Huwaida Arraf, lawyer and human rights activist, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine, former chair of the Free Gaza movement