Posted January 1, 2009
An Israeli air strike today killed Nizar Ghayan, an influential Hamas figure, as well as nine women and 11 children. Though the overall toll in the strip is difficult to ascertain amid the chaotic situation on the ground, reports are that the toll is now at least 425 dead and over 2,000 wounded.
And as Israel defends its decision to reject the international call for a ceasefire, the air strikes continue apace, though they are running into one obstacle: after six days of salvos into the densely populated strip the Israeli military is really running out of interesting things to bomb.
Sure, they blew up Ghayan’s home, but past that a campaign that began with blowing up police stations and universities is rapidly giving way to strikes on mosques and attacking the long abandoned education ministry and transportation ministry.
Near Rafah, Israel has destroyed most of the tunnels used to smuggle goods in from Egypt, and displaced thousands of residents who live near the border. Admittedly, in a 130 square mile strip with no escape on any side one can only be displaced a relatively short distance, but the hundreds of families are now taking refuge in a UN-managed school.
Increasingly, hospitals are the only place truly safe from the strikes, and even then Israel has been sending out accusations that the hospitals are being used to hide terrorists, so whether they’ll remain exempt from attack remains to be seen.
- January 1, 2009 — US Foils Draft UN Resolution to Stop Gaza Attacks
- January 1, 2009 — Israel Downplaying Gaza Humanitarian Crisis
- January 1, 2009 — Ground Invasion of the Gaza Strip Appears Imminent
compiled by Jason Ditz [email the author]