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Israel bombs mosque, university, homes as Gaza death toll hits 1,654

Al-Akhbar | August 2, 2014

DataFiles-Cache-TempImgs-2014-2-images_News_2014_08_02_university_300_0Updated 3:00 pm: Israeli war jets on Saturday bombed a mosque in the northern Gaza town of Jabalia, a major university in Gaza City and flattened houses in a beach side neighborhood, bringing the Palestinian death toll to 1,654 as the US-backed assault enters day 26.

Saturday’s killings come a day after Israeli forces committed horrifying massacres in the southern town of Rafah, slaughtering about 150 men, women and children after the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the capture of a third by Palestinian commandos.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the ambush of the Israeli army officer, but said the group has lost contact with the fighters involved in the operation, and suggested that they may have been killed by Israeli shelling along with their prisoner of war.

“We lost contact with the (Hamas) troops deployed in the ambush and assess that these troops were probably killed by enemy bombardment, including the soldier said to be missing — presuming that our troops took him prisoner during the clash,” the Brigades said in a statement issued in Arabic and English.

“The Qassam Brigades has no information as of this time about the missing soldier, his whereabouts, or the circumstances of his disappearance.”

Palestinian health officials say 1,654 Palestinians, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, have been killed, including a muezzin who died in an Israeli strike on a northern mosque on Saturday.

Sixty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed, and Palestinian shelling has killed two Israelis and a Thai workers.

Air strikes and tank fire have pounded huge areas of Gaza into rubble, rendering much of it unrecognizable to one Palestinian who returned home after spending years in an Israeli jail.

“It was my dream to return to Gaza but it is a real shock,” said 30-year-old Osama who comes from the central town of Deir al-Balah.

“Everything has been destroyed.”

Since Friday, more than 400 houses have been leveled across Gaza, mostly by air strikes, Palestinian officials said.

UN figures show that up to 25 percent of Gaza’s population of 1.8 million may have been forcibly displaced, with more than a quarter of a million people now seeking safety in shelters belonging to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

August 2, 2014 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , ,

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