Palestine: Israeli targets civilian properties leaving them in ruins in Gaza

16th Nov 2018
Palestine: Israeli targets civilian properties leaving them in ruins in Gaza

By Moustafa Haboosh

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) : During the most recent escalations on Monday, Israeli forces targeted residential buildings, a kindergarten, a television channel and sites associated with resistance faction Hamas.

Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing, Mofeed al-Hasayneh, has reported that the Israeli shelling and bombardment in the Gaza Strip, since Sunday, has caused destruction and damage to hundreds of buildings and structures.

He said that eight residential units were destroyed, 50 were partially but seriously damaged, and 750 sustained light to moderate damage, and added that most of the targeted buildings are in the Gaza governorate.

The Israeli shells and missiles struck homes, the headquarters of Al-Aqsa TV, Ar-Rahma residential building, Al-Amal Hostel, Palestine Academy for Science and Technology, Ansar Governmental Center, a building owned by al-Yaziji family, in addition to many other buildings, structures and infrastructure sites.

Anadolu Agency visited a number of sites in the blockaded Gaza Strip, including a kindergarten, that were recently destroyed by Israeli airstrikes.

Israel has claimed that it only struck military installations, but destroyed children’s toys, singed pieces of furniture, burnt notebooks and shattered broadcast equipment — all of which were pulled from the rubble — strongly suggest otherwise.

Anadolu Agency began its tour at the Shahd kindergarten, which was completely destroyed by Israeli attacks in Gaza City’s western Rimal district.

In the debris of the kindergarten, which is run by Palestinian teacher Ebtisam al-Yazji, broken seats, burnt books, and ruined toys can be seen scattered all over the ground.

“Hours before the bombing, there were 200 children playing, taking their lessons, drawing and making clay sculptures,” al-Yazji told Anadolu Agency while collecting furniture and toys that remained unaffected by the bombing.

“The children will not be able to come to kindergarten again. Israeli raids have destroyed almost everything and the building may be in danger of collapsing,” she added.

Adjacent to the kindergarten, there is a seven-story destroyed residential building called Al-Yazji. The building contains 14 apartments and a number of stores. It was struck by more than 10 rockets.

Palestinian child Yazan al-Yazji, 12, showed an Anadolu Agency correspondent his damaged flat. The Israeli bombing divided the building into two halves, one of which was totally destroyed.

“Most of the people in this building are doctors; I do not know why Israel bombed them. There are no military facilities here,” the young boy said.

He added: “I do not know how I will go to school tomorrow. My books, my bag and my school clothes have been burned. We fled the house after being hit with the first shot with only our clothes.”

In Rafah city, a home that accommodated 10 members of the Dahir family, was struck by four Israeli rockets.

After the first rocket destroyed a room in the house, the mother rushed to protect some of her children and let the rest run outside. They ran for their lives some 350 meters from the house to a nearby alley.

In four minutes, three rockets struck a vacant lot in the middle of five houses, leaving several homes completely destroyed.

“The bombardment destroyed our house and our lives,” Kamel Daher, a member of the family, told an Anadolu Agency correspondent.

“Our fodder company, which is adjacent to the house, was also completely destroyed. The Israeli rockets destroyed everything,” he added.

Al-Berim in Khan Younis city lived the same tragedy — their home was destroyed the same night by three rockets.

“Look at this deep hole: as if a volcano had exploded at the bottom of the house,” Nasrullah al-Berim told Anadolu Agency.

“I do not know why Israel uses all this force against us. We are civilians; we do not pose any danger to them,” he said.

Fighting to hold back his tears, he looked at the scattered stones of his house. Along with his children and grandchildren, he gathered up pieces of unbroken furniture and some books.

The Israeli airstrikes also destroyed the Al-Amal Hotel and the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television channel.

At least 14 Palestinians have been martyred by Israeli attacks in Gaza since Sunday.

Tensions appeared to ease slightly late Tuesday after Israel and Gaza-based resistance factions agreed to an Egypt-brokered cease-fire.

Since March 30, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army gunfire — and thousands more injured — while taking part in ongoing rallies along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo:  Palestinians try to collect their belongings at wreckage of buildings after Israeli forces conducted airstrikes in Rafah, Gaza on November 14, 2018. Photographer: Abed Rahim Khatib/AA]

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