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At least 50 dead in Israeli attack on Gaza

district - hospital
GAZA/JERUSALEM Sun Jul 20, 2014
(Reuters) - At least 50 Palestinians were killed on Sunday by Israeli shellin in a Gaza
neihbourhood! where bodies were strewn in the street and thousands "led "or shelter
to a hospital packed with wounded! witnesses and health o""icials said#
As the nu$ber o" dead $ounted! Israel and Gaza%s do$inant &a$as $o'e$ent areed
to a two-hour (hu$anitarian truce( in that area! "ro$ )*+0 p#$# to +*+0 p#$# ()0+0
G,- to ).+0 G,-)! at the re/uest o" the Red 0ross# 1ihtin continued elsewhere in
-he $ass casualties in She2aia! in northeast Gaza! were the hea'iest since Israel
launched its o""ensi'e on the Palestinian territory on 3uly 4 a"ter cross-border rocket
strikes by $ilitants intensi"ied#
Palestinian President ,ah$oud Abbas! who is based in the occupied 5est 6ank!
accused Israel o" carryin out a $assacre and declared three days o" $ournin#
-he Israeli $ilitary said on Sunday &a$as had deployed rockets and built tunnels and
co$$and centres in She2aia#
(-wo days ao! residents o" She2aia recei'ed recorded $essaes to e'acuate the area in
order to protect their li'es!( an Israeli $ilitary spokeswo$an said#
Anuished cries o" (7id you see Ah$ed8( (7id you see $y wi"e8( echoed throuh the
courtyard o" Gaza%s Shi"a hospital! a where panicked residents o" She2aia athered in
"a$ily roups! seekin a sa"e ha'en# Inside! bodies and wounded lay on blood-stained
9lderly $en there said the Israeli attack was the "iercest they had seen since the ):;<
,iddle 9ast war! when Israel captured Gaza# Shi"a hospital%s director! =aser -attar!
said )< children! )> wo$en and "our elderly were a$on the 50 dead! and about >00
people were wounded in the Israeli assault#
Gaza%s &ealth ,inistry o""icials said at least +45 Palestinians! $any o" the$ ci'ilians!
ha'e been killed in the )+-day con"lict and about .!;00 ha'e been wounded# ?n Israel%s
side! two ci'ilians ha'e been killed by cross-border "ire and "i'e soldiers ha'e died in
"ihtin# ,ore than 50 Israeli troops ha'e been wounded! hospital o""icials said#
-housands "led She2aia! so$e by "oot and others pilin into the backs o" trucks and
sittin on the hoods o" cars "illed with "a$ilies tryin to et away# Se'eral people rode
out o" the neihbourhood o" )00!000 in the sho'el o" a bulldozer#
@ideo i'en to Reuters by a local showed at least a dozen corpses! includin three
children! lyin in rubble-"illed streets! thouh the "ootae could not be 'eri"ied
-here were no sins o" a breakthrouh on diplo$atic e""orts to et a per$anent
cease"ire! and $ilitants kept up their rocket "ire on Israel# Sirens sounded in southern
Israeli towns and in the -el A'i' $etropolitan area# -here were no reports o" casualties
on the Israeli side#
&a$as had ured people across the territory not to heed the Israeli warnins and
abandon their ho$es#
As the tank shells bean to land! She2aia residents called radio stations pleadin "or
e'acuation# An air strike on the She2aia ho$e o" Ahalil al-&ayya! a senior &a$as
o""icial! killed his son! dauhter-in-law and two randchildren! hospital o""icials said#
Israel! which has accused &a$as o" usin ci'ilians as hu$an shields by launchin
rockets "ro$ residential areas! sent round "orces into the Gaza Strip on -hursday
a"ter )0 days o" air! na'al and artillery barraes "ailed to stop the sal'oes#
-he $ilitary said it bee"ed up its presence on Sunday! with a "ocus on destroyin
$issile stockpiles and a 'ast tunnel syste$ &a$as built alon the "rontier that crosses
into Israel#
(It has been a touh day o" co$bat! but it won%t deter us!( Israeli 1inance ,inister Bair
Capid said! without re"errin to e'ents in She2aia#
(-he operation is necessary and! i" needed! we will broaden it!( he told reporters while
'isitin wounded Israeli soldiers in a hospital in the southern city o" 6eersheba#
-RD09 911?R-S
9ypt! Eatar! 1rance and the Dnited =ations! a$on others! ha'e all been pushin "or
a diplo$atic solution! with little sin o" proress#
Eatar was due to host a $eetin between Abbas and D#=# Secretary-General 6an Ai-
$oon on Sunday! a senior Eatari source told Reuters# 6an was due to tra'el to Auwait!
9ypt! Israel! the Palestinian -erritories and 3ordan durin the week! a D#=# state$ent
said# -he Eatari source said Abbas would also $eet &a$as leader Ahaled ,eshaal#
5estern-backed Abbas in April struck a deal with Isla$ist &a$as that led to the
"or$ation o" a Palestinian unity o'ern$ent and Israel%s pullout "ro$ D#S#-brokered
peace talks#
&a$as has already re2ected one 9yptian-brokered truce! sayin any deal $ust include
an end to a blockade o" the coastal area and a reco$$it$ent to a cease"ire reached
a"ter an eiht-day war in Gaza in .0).#
9ypt said on Saturday it had no plans to re'ise its cease"ire proposal# A &a$as source
in 7oha said the roup has no plans to chane its conditions "or a cease"ire#
&ostilities escalated "ollowin the killin last $onth o" three 3ewish students that
Israel bla$es on &a$as# &a$as neither con"ir$ed nor denied in'ol'e$ent#
-he apparent re'ene $urder o" a Palestinian youth in 3erusale$! "or which Israel has
chared three Israelis! "urther "uelled tension#
-he Israeli death toll has been kept low due to the rockets% relati'e inaccuracy! a
network o" air-raid sirens and shelters and the Iron 7o$e rocket interceptor%s :0
percent success rate#
(Additional reportin by =oah 6rowin in Gaza and Ari Rabino'itch in 3erusale$F
5ritin by 3e""rey &ellerF 9ditin by Andrew &ea'ens)
Posted by -ha'a$