The Israeli government began a 7 hour unilateral “humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza at this morning, and immediately attacked the al-Shati refugee camp, which they insisted was “exempt” from the truce.
The Shati camp, near Rafah, is among several areas in and around Rafah which Israel has pounded over the past 48 hours. The attack during the ceasefire killed an eight-year-old girl, and wounding 30 other civilians.
Overall, the attacks on Rafah have killed a large number of people, almost entirely civilians, and don’t seem to be focused on anything in particular, with one of yesterday’s attacks hitting the UN school, killing 10 civilians.
The Israeli military is withdrawing the majority of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip, and seems to be trying to reset the conflict to its pre-invasion strategy of bombardment without boots on the ground.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to confirm that today, saying that the attacks on Gaza will continue until “calm is restored,” though without any mention of a negotiated settlement.
Over 1,850 Palestinians have been killed so far in the Gaza war, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, and over 20 percent of them children under the age of 18. On the Israeli side, 67 have been killed, 64 of them troops.
Incidents are also mounting in the West Bank, where mass protests have been met by violent crackdowns, and unrest is growing. A motorbike attacker shoot an Israeli soldier at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, though the soldier survived.
The more serious incident saw an Israeli Arab attacking a passenger bus with a backhoe, killing a pedestrian, apparently himself an anti-Zionist protester, and overturning a bus. The attack was killed by Israeli forces.
The incident sparked an anti-Arab protest in the area, with demonstrators chanting “death to Arabs” in Hebrew.
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