Israel’s four-hour humanitarian ceasefire ended yesterday when Hamas militants fired rockets at Israel and Israel fired back, striking a crowded marketplace.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, Israel’s rocket fire killed at least 16 people and wounded about 150.
The marketplace was located in Shijaiyah, one of the towns that was allegedly excluded from the ceasefire. However, Palestinian officials said the area was busy because residents believed the ceasefire included Shijaiyah.
On Wednesday, a UN school shelter was struck, killing 15 civilians who had sought shelter from the violence.
In response to the shelter attack, Abu Hasan, a UN spokesman said, "It's the responsibility of the world to tell us what we shall do with more than 200,000 people who are inside our schools, thinking that the U.N. flag will protect them. This incident today proves that no place is safe in Gaza."
Israeli soldiers dropped warning leaflets in a Gaza City neighborhood to prevent further harm of civilians.
"The Israeli Defense Forces are going into a new phase in the coming operation and does not want to harm civilians. The army is warning residents in the areas where the operation will take place that for your safety, you have to keep away from terrorists and the locations from which they operate,” the warning said.
The conflict shows no sign of ending soon, despite international calls for a permanent ceasefire. Hamas has stated that it will not surrender until all of the group’s demands are met.
Publication date: July 31, 2014