By Celine Hagbard
IMEMC: Palestinian sources in Gaza are reporting a large number of Israeli bombs dropped in northern, southern, central, western and eastern Gaza on Tuesday morning, including the Palestinian Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, the home of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya, the Al Quds News Agency, the Port of Gaza, and carpet-bombing of whole neighborhoods, particularly in northern Gaza and in Rafah. Palestinian resistance fighters killed 10 Israeli soldiers.
The attacks began in the early morning hours on Tuesday, when most of Gaza was in darkness because of cuts to electricity. The bombs began to fall on residential areas in northern and southern Gaza, and striking government buildings in Gaza City.
A teenage girl, @Farah_Gazan, tweeted pictures of bombs dropping near her house and wrote “I might die tonight”, reflecting the sentiments of many Palestinians in Gaza who have been living in terror for the past three weeks.
In Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, an Israeli airstrike killed five people and wounded at least 20. The five killed were identified as Naji Ahmad al-Raqqab, 19, Ramy Khaled al-Raqqab, 35, Mahmoud Osama al-Qosas, Shadi Abd al-Kareem Farwana, Mustafa Abd al-Samiee al-Ubadala.
Also in Khan Younis, in the neighborhood of al-Fakhari, an airstrike killed Yahiya Mohammad Abdullah al-Aqqad, 49.
In Jabalia, in the north, five people were killed, and 50 were injured by Israeli tank shells and air strikes. The people killed include three children – Yusef Emad Qaddoura, Huna Emad Qaddoura, and Mohammad Musa Alwan. Also killed were Mariam Khalil Ruba, age 70, and Hani Abu Khalifa.
This is the same town in which around 200,000 people were ordered via leaflets dropped by planes Monday to leave their homes, but were not told where they should go, other than ‘south’. UN schools that have been turned into makeshift shelters are already full to overflowing, with refugees from the eastern Gaza town of Sheja’eyya and other bombed out areas.
In central Gaza, at least 15 people were wounded in an airstrike on Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City.
Al Jazeera reporter Imtiaz Tyab reported that Israeli airstrikes in western Gaza City hit the Gaza port, causing windows to blow out in the hotel where many foreign journalists are housed.
Palestinian fighters engaged with the Israeli military twice in northern and once southern Gaza between Monday night and Tuesday morning. The Israeli paper Ha’aretz reported “Ten Israeli soldiers have died in the past 24 hours: five in a militant border infiltration, four in mortar shell fire near the border and one during clashes in Gaza’s south.”
Palestinian resistance fighters managed to access an Israeli military base in northern Gaza via a tunnel, and killed five Israeli soldiers in a gun battle.
The Tuesday morning aerial and ground assault by Israeli troops is a marked increase from the last several days, in which Palestinian medics were allowed (for an hour at a time) into bombed-out neighborhoods to try to find survivors and to pull bodies from the rubble. Some survivors were found in Khuza’a in eastern Khan Younis, but medics were forced out of the area before they could finish checking the area, because of heavy Israeli shelling.