Bearing Witness


Emergency workers said they rescued 100 more trapped survivors Thursday and found between 40 and 50 corpses in a devastated residential block south of Gaza City that the Israeli military had kept off-limits to the ICRC [International Committe of the Red Cross] for four days.

Relief agencies said they feared more people remained in the rubble of several shattered houses in the Zaytoun neighborhood. Red Cross officials said that they began receiving distress calls from people in the houses late Saturday but that they were blocked by the Israeli military from reaching the area until Wednesday.

“There are still people under demolished houses — we are sure of it,” said Khaled Abuzaid, an ambulance driver for the Red Cross who treated survivors at the site Wednesday and Thursday. “But without water or electricity, we are sure they will die.”

In an interview at al-Quds Hospital, a Red Cross medical center in Gaza, Abuzaid said rescue workers found 16 bodies Wednesday in a large room of a house in Zaytoun: seven women, six children and three men, all members of the al-Samuni family.

Most had sustained trauma injuries from shelling, but many had gunshot wounds as well, he said. Four children, weak but alive, were found lying under blankets, nestled next to their dead mothers, Abuzaid said.

This article was taken from the Washington Post Foreign Service on Friday 9th January. The article was written by Craig Whitlock and Reyham Abdel Kareem.

The Palestinian death toll in Israel’s 13-day-old offensive has risen to 765,  and over 3,000 people have now been wounded. With the majority of the deaths and casualties being those of civilians who are supposedly protected by international law ? How many more innocent civilians need to die before the international community, namely the United States, force Israel to stop this horrifically heavy hand military operation in Gaza.

UPDATE: In its report on Friday, the United Nations agency confirmed the al-Samuni family’s account, saying that 110 people had been forced into the house on Sunday by the IOF [Israeli Occuupation Force]. “The next day the house was shelled,” Allegra Pacheco, an UN agency spokeswoman said. 

January 9, 2009 - Posted by | Media, My Thoughts | , , ,

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