Israel airstrikes claims 172 lives so far in Gaza

RSTV Bureau

israel_gazaShowing no signs of letting down, Israel unleashed more airstrikes on Gaza on Monday and its military claimed to have downed a drone launched from Hamas- ruled area, the first weapon of its kind it has encountered in the week-long conflict that has claimed nearly 172 lives.

Israeli warplanes bombarded the vacated area, hitting alleged launch sites and homes of members of extremist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The assault was carried out mostly by air, but the Israeli navy also reportedly fired shells from the sea.

By this morning, the death toll from nearly a week of Israeli airstrikes reached 172 — all of them Palestinians with more than 1,250 wounded, according to Palestinian health authorities.

While the Israeli attacks have killed some militants, around 70 per cent of the fatalities were civilians, according to the United Nations. Of the dead, more than 30 are children, the UN reported.

The Israeli military said that it shot down the drone spotted along the Israeli coastline, near the city of Ashdod.

Hamas’ military wing said in a statement that it has sent a number of drones on missions inside Israel and would provide more details in due course.

About 17,000 people from the Beit Lahiya area in the northern Gaza Strip streamed for protection into UN-run facilities after Israel warned residents of the area to leave their homes on Sunday.

Defending Israel’s actions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We’re sorry for any accidental civilian deaths but it’s the Hamas that bears complete responsibility for such civilian casualties.”

Israel said its forces have struck 1,470 “terror targets” across Gaza, including 770 concealed rocket launchers.

International efforts to press Israel and Hamas into negotiating a ceasefire have failed to gain any momentum.

“Hope for peaceful resolution seems to be even further away,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday.

protests against the killings

Though, the international community has opted to remain ignorant about the killings in the attacks, people around the world are protesting against it.

Protests have been observed across the world: in many countries human rights groups and students, writers, artists are protesting against the war and demanding immediate intervention by the world community to stop the Israel’s attacks.

In India, series of protests continues on second day outside the Israeli Embassy and other parts of country demanding an end to Israel’s air strikes in Gaza resulting in high civilian casualties.

The call for the protest was given by Human Rights activists, Social activists and Students union.