The latest innocent casualties of the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip were five young sisters, who died this evening when an attack on the mosque of the refugee camp they lived in caused a wall to fall on their small home, killing them and injuring their father and three other siblings.
The Israeli military defended the attack, saying the mosque was a “known gathering place” for Hamas supporters. The uncle of the slain girls insisted that his family has had nothing to do with the rocket attacks coming from the strip.
The civilian death toll in the Gaza attacks is difficult to ascertain, but the United Nations put the estimate very conservatively at 51 early this morning. This would not include the sisters, or anyone else killed today. It’s unclear the methodology of the estimate, however as the early attacks focused on Hamas-run police stations it seems likely all those working in the stations were considered legitimate non-civilian targets, whether they worked as armed police or in other government offices in the stations. With many still buried in the rubble, that number is bound to rise in the coming days.