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IOF Hit Al Zahra'a Hard on Ramadan Eve


IOF Hit Al Zahra'a Hard on Ramadan Eve

AL ZAHRA'A, Gaza Strip -- Israeli occupying forces (IOF) invaded the town of Al Zahra’ a, south of Gaza City and blew up three large apartment buildings there as well as the town's police station. While 5,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes, as the Palestinian people prepared to begin the fasting month of Ramadan.

Palestinian security sources told IPC correspondent that a large column of Israeli tanks, armored vehicles and bulldozers moved to Al Zahra'a town late on Saturday evening from the illegitimate (and isolated) Jewish settlement of "Netzarim", south Gaza city. Several IOF tanks were stationed at the junction leading to the town, while the others moved towards it, opening heavy and indiscriminate gunfire at the buildings.

Eyewitnesses said that IOF troops began issuing orders to the town's residents through loudspeakers to come out of their homes and move on foot to the nearby Nusseirat refugee camp, which is two miles away. Nearly 5,000 Palestinian citizens, carrying nothing but them, wandered on foot in complete disorientation, not knowing where to go.

"I was preparing to have dinner with my family, when suddenly we heard loud explosions and then a voice shouting at us to leave our homes and head for Nusseirat (refugee camp) through loudspeakers and in bad Arabic, followed by heavy gunfire. I quickly grabbed my baby children and went down to the street, to find hundreds others of my friends and neighbors doing the same thing. We were completely confused and didn't know what to do," said Adel Ali, one of Al Zahra’ a residents who was forced to leave his house.

After expelling the Palestinian citizens from their homes, IOF tanks shelled the local police station, severely damaging it, then IOF troops rigged the remains of the station, along with three large apartment buildings in the town, with explosives and remotely detonated them.

"These buildings, each was about ten floors high, were intended to be the residence of members of Palestinian security services, but the eruption of Al Aqsa Intifada and the Israeli continuous targeting of these buildings prevented any construction or housing to be made in these buildings," said Mohammed Abu Shammala, a firefighter living in the town.

The blast rocked the entire area, and caused wide structural and material wreckage in the nearby homes.

As for the casualties, Palestinian medical sources at "Al Shifa" hospital in Gaza City declared that a Palestinian citizen, identified as Ibrahim Hamada, 25, was shot and wounded by IOF gunfire in the chest.

Hospital officials described Hamada's condition as critical, as he was wounded when IOF tanks heavily shelled and opened random fire at Al Zahra'a Town.

The invasion and destruction in the town of Al Zahra'a comes on the eve of the first day of the holy Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar, where people prepare for fasting for the entire month.


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