Day 6: Outrage, Protests Show Gaza Solidarity in Middle East
Death toll climbs on sixth day of Israeli attacks
The death toll in Gaza continued to rise on Monday -- 108 people at last count -- following a night of Israeli airstrikes in the densely populated occupied territory, which continued throughout the day Monday. Israeli forces openly targeted residential and public areas and continued targeting media centers in Gaza City -- making it increasingly difficult to report ongoing Israeli war crimes.
Civilian causalities doubled over the weekend as Monday marked the sixth day of attacks. Monday has proven to be the dealiest day so far with at least 24 deaths.
Overall, the Israeli onslaught has killed 108 Palestinians, including at least 24 children, and wounded roughly 800 people, including roughly 227 children, according to Gaza health officials, with tolls on the rise.
On Monday a missile struck a three-story home in Gaza City's Zeitoun area, destroying the building and several surrounding homes. Associated Press reported this morning:
Shell-shocked residents searching for belongings climbed over debris of twisted metal and cement blocks in the street...Sitting in mourning with her mother and siblings just hours after her father's death, 11-year-old Aya Kitati clutched a black jacket, saying she was freezing, even though the weather was mild. 'We were sleeping, and then we heard the sound of the bombs,' she said, then broke down sobbing.
The strike killed three adults and a 2-year-old boy, and wounded 42 people, officials said.
Another four were killed, including two children, in a strike on a sports stadium, adding to the alarming child death toll.
ATTACK ON MEDIA SITES
Reporting such scenes is becoming an increasingly deadly task as Israel continues attacks on media centers within Gaza. At least eight journalists were injured Sunday after Israeli jets bombed two media buildings in Gaza City -- the home of several news agencies covering the military campaign. The Gaza City Media Center in the the Shuruq Tower of the city's crowded Rimal neighborhood, which is used by media outlets including Britain's Sky News, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network, Russia Today and Iran's Press TV, was struck again Monday, reportedly killing a "senior Islamic Jihad official."
"One Palestinian was killed and three others injured in a strike on the Shuruq Tower," including two cameraman, an ambulance services statement said.
Additionally, the Israeli army took over the airwaves of a Gaza-based Hamas television station on Monday claiming its aim was to "broadcast warnings" of air raids.
Al-Aqsa television officials said in a statement that the Israeli army "is interfering with Al-Aqsa TV," causing the pictures to scramble or lose frequency entirely for several hours at a time.
SOLIDARITY, PROTESTS GROW
Meanwhile Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas said on Monday they have decided to end their rivarly and come together in solidarity, symbolically rejuvenating unity between the West Bank and Gaza for the first time in years, an Agance France-Presse reporter said.
"From here, we announce with other (factional) leaders, that we are ending the division," senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub told a crowd of about 1,000 who gathered for a demonstration in Ramallah, West Bank.
Palestinians outside of Gaza have organized several protests against the Israeli attacks and the ongoing threat of a ground invasion, holding demonstrations across the West Bank and Jerusalem, and inside Israel itself, according to Inter Press Service.
“We are here to demonstrate against Israeli aggression and Israel’s war on Gaza. We are here in solidarity with the people of Gaza and with the resistance,” said 23-year-old Said Suidan, who was among some 40 people demonstrating in Haifa, Israel Sunday evening.
Over 500 Egyptian protesters crossed into the Gaza Strip on Sunday to show solidarity with Palestinians.
"For us to mobilize, and not close our ears and close the crossing like what used to happen before, is something good," said Islam Mahmoud, a 30-year-old engineer speaking in Cairo.
"A military confrontation is very difficult now, but there are a lot of things that Arabs can do like pressuring countries that have interests with us to call on the U.S. and others to stop Israel's savage assault."
Egypt has been trying to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza, with the help of Turkey and Qatar. A senior Egyptian official told the Associated Press that Egyptian mediators are hoping Monday to have a clearer idea of whether a Gaza ceasefire is possible. Israel and Hamas are said to be presenting respective conditions for a halt to the strikes.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Arab League, and a delegation of Arab foreign ministers are expected in Gaza on Tuesday.
"The barbaric bombardment we saw yesterday of Gaza children is a crime against humanity," Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, who will join the ministerial trip, told Reuters.
"The world must not stand silent. This is a terrorist act by all standards," he said.