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Gaza Under Attack Again - No Excuses For Inaction This Time

Gaza Under Attack Again - No Excuses For Inaction This Time

Report – By Julie Webb-Pullman In Gaza

Update [14:00 19/8/11 NZT] Reports of attacks on Jabalya in North Gaza and in Khan Younis. Also reports of planned massive attack - "many think it's psywar". "All quiet but for drones and prayers in Gaza City. Hamas has asked families to collect their prisoners as they do not want them all killed in strikes on the prisons, as happened during Cast Lead."

"My final message is STOP THIS COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT immediately. The international community MUST act to stop Isreal's unjustified and criminal attacks on Gaza."

Update [11:20 19/8/11 NZT] A big bomb has hit Gaza city at the Al Ansar police compound. Al Aqsa reports 9 confirmed dead and many injured.

Julie Webb Pullman from Gaza: "13 yr old boy killed near my place... Adham Al Samra I think is the name of the boy killed, also 6 members of Al Samra family wounded"

Attacks have come from land and sea. There are now reports on Apache helicopters entering Gaza airspace.

WARNING: Photo showing victims below.

Gaza is tonight under attack by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) following a series of attacks today on Israeli military targets 20 km north of the southern city of Eilat, close to the border with Egypt.

Hamas has denied responsibility for this afternoon’s attacks, which killed seven and injured at least 14, saying their strategy is to resist "the occupation of Palestinian lands from within, rather than from outside."

Despite the attacks coming from within Israeli territory and from the Egyptian border, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately stated they hold Hamas responsible, and would retaliate with “full force.”

So far this evening, at least six Palestinians have been killed in the southern Gaza town of Rafah by IDF attacks on a house reportedly belonging to Popular Resistance Committees official Khaled Shaath, whose daughter was injured. IDF has been dropping leaflets over Rafah threatening Palestinians, as it did prior to launching Operation Cast Lead in December 2008.


Victims of IDF attack by Israeli military aircraft on a house in Southern Gaza Strip.

Undeterred by any moral or legal obligation to establish who was responsible for the Eilat attacks, IDF operations against Gaza continue, as Gazans brace themselves for a ‘night of blood’ knowing that regardless of who was actually responsible, and possibly in a cynical move to distract attention from domestic Israeli unrest, it is Gazans who will pay the price.

Is the international community going to stand by while yet another collective punishment is imposed on a population who has every right – and an ever-increasing need – for security?

*************

Julie Webb-Pullman (click to view previous articles) is a New Zealand based freelance writer who has reported for Scoop since 2003. She recently managed to get into Gaza during a brief period when the Rafah Gate was open.

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