Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip entered its sixth consecutive day, with Israeli air raids hitting a refugee camp where at least 10 Palestinians, including eight children, were killed.
In the early hours of Saturday, rescue workers were still trying to pull bodies from under the rubble as more people are believed to be dead. Hamas, the group that controls the besieged enclave, responded to the latest attack by firing a barrage of rockets towards the southern Israeli towns of Askhelon and Ashdod. No casualties were reported.
At least 139 Palestinians, including some 40 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Monday. Some 950 others have been wounded. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have killed at least 13 Palestinians protesting against continued Israeli occupation and the ongoing bombardment of Gaza. Confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators continued into the night in occupied East Jerusalem.
At least eight people in Israel have also been killed. The Israeli army said hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in Israel and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.
As violence escalates, the humanitarian crisis grows steadily worse with thousands of Palestinian families taking shelter in United Nations-run schools in northern Gaza to escape Israeli artillery fire. The UN has said it estimates approximately 10,000 Palestinians have left their homes in Gaza amid the Israeli offensive.
Palestinians were set on Saturday to mark 73 years since the ethnic cleansing of their homeland by Zionist militias to create the state of Israel. The event is called the Nakba, or “Catastrophe”, in Palestinian history.
Gaza’s main power line at risk of collapsing
The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company warned that that vital power lines in the besieged enclave are at risk of collapsing due to the relentless Israeli shelling, according to Palestinian Wafa news agency.
Eight out of 10 main electricity power lines coming from the Israeli side have been severally disrupted, the agency said, while the company urged all “relevant parties” to intervene urgently.
Egypt sends ambulances to pick up wounded from Gaza
Egypt sent 10 ambulances into Gaza to pick up casualties of Israeli bombardments for treatment in Egyptian hospitals, medical and security sources told Reuters news agency.
The ambulances entered Gaza at the Rafah crossing, which is otherwise closed for five days over the Eid al-Fitr holiday and the weekend and is due to reopen on Monday.A further five ambulances have been deployed to enter Gaza later and three Egyptian hospitals have been readied to provide treatment, the sources and local health officials said.
Funerals held in Nablus
Funerals are being held in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus for Palestinian protesters killed on Friday by Israeli forces. At least 11 Palestinians were killed as protests swept across the occupied West Bank.
Israel says 15 arrested linked to violence in Lod
Israeli police said they arrested 15 suspects involved in recent violence in the central city of Lod.
According to an Israeli police statement, they also also seized weapons, Molotov cocktails and fireworks.
Demonstrations expected worldwide in support of Palestinians
Hundreds of people gathered in the Australian city of Melbourne to express their solidarity with Palestinians.
More demonstrations are expected to be held around the world on Saturday as Palestinians mark Nakba.
‘This is truly a massacre’
Nabil Abu al-Reesh, a doctor based in the Gaza Strip, gave his account of Israel’s airstrike that targeted a four-story house on the edge of al-Shati refugee camp.
“We are still trying to recover more bodies and trying to understand who is who,” al-Reesh, who is treating survivors at al-Shifa Hospital, said.
“This is truly a massacre that cannot be described,” he said.
“I don’t know how he managed to stay alive,” he added, pointing to an infant who is the only survivor of a family that was killed by the Israeli airstrike.
“Maybe he survived to witness what happened to the rest of his family,” he said.