GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – An uptick in violence after a humanitarian ceasefire on Saturday has begun again between Israel and Hamas on Monday as missiles exploded hitting the Gaza park playground in Gaza City and the main hospital, that according to a Palestinian health official has killed at least 10 Palestinians, including 7 children and injuring at least 46 others with both sides blaming each other for the airstrikes.
Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said it was Hamas who is responsible for the lethal airstrikes.”This incident was carried out by Gaza terrorists whose rockets fell short and hit the Shifa Hospital and the Beach (Shati) camp,” he said.
According to journalists who were eyewitnesses to the airstrike on the beach camp, it occurred just a few minutes after Shifa hospital’s outpatient clinic was hit. Camera crews reported the airstrike at the hospital left several people wounded and were prevented from filming the area of impact.
Reporting from Gaza City, Martin Patience a BBC News journalist said there was chaos, confusion and grief when the people hit by the airstrikes were rushed to Gaza’s main hospital. Patience said before the airstrike, children who couldn’t possibly understand why this happened, were innocently playing outside when the unthinkable happened.
“One man told me he was at home when he heard a huge explosion,” Patience said. “He rushed outside and the street he said was full of bodies.” While Patience said it was an Israeli airstrike that killed the children, Israel is denying this.
More violence occurred in Israel when Hamas militants made their way through a tunnel into Israel and then opened fire on Israeli soldiers. According to the Israel military, five of the Hamas militants were shot dead after entering an Israeli village from Gaza.
Israel was reportedly shocked to learn there are a network of border tunnels that has been dug by Hamas over the last few years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the core of Operation Protective Edge since the violence began on July 8, is to destroy the tunnels that lead into Israel. The Israel Defense Forces say they have demolished at least 20 tunnels so far however continue to search for more.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked more than once for an immediate ceasefire saying the Gaza Strip is in “critical condition.”
“In the name of humanity, the violence must stop,” Ban told reporters.
U.S. President Barack Obama also pushed for an immediate halt to the violence. The New York Times reported the president made a telephone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pushing for an immediate ceasefire. The prime minister is facing intense pressure from the international community and worldwide protests where over 10,000 people have been seen in the streets of London, Paris and other European countries in solidarity with Palestinians who are saying “free Gaza” and “enough is enough.”
However in a poll published by Israel’s Channel 10 TV on Sunday, the results revealed that 87 percent of Israelis believe the Israel Defense Forces should be attacking the Gaza Strip while only 7 percent are asking for a complete ceasefire.
After Netanyahu spoke to Ban on Monday, he strongly criticized the United Nations Security Council asking for an “unconditional ceasefire.” The prime minister released a statement from his office saying it is Hamas who “does not address the security needs of Israel.” Netanyahu said in his statement that along with Israel Defense Forces, the international community should be working with Israel to demilitarize the Gaza Strip.
Before tallying the death toll on Monday, more than 1,030 Palestinians have been killed over the last 20 days. The death toll in Israel thanks to the Iron Dome anti-missile system that intercepts missiles being fired from Gaza into Israel shooting them out of the sky, has kept the death toll at three civilians and since the ground invasion began, 43 Israeli solldiers.
has to be lifted.”