A new wave of airstrikes this morning have left the death toll in the Gaza Strip at more than 1,650 Palestinians and 66 Israelis. The horrifying photos below show just how devastating the situation really is.
Hamas admitted today it may have seized the Israeli soldier whose alleged kidnapping yesterday morning left a 72-hour truce in tatters.
As reported by MailOnline:
Fighters insisted they did not kill 23-year-old Lieutenant Hadar Goldin – who is still officially considered missing – claiming instead that he was ‘probably’ killed as Hamas battled Israeli forces.
The group’s armed wing said it lost contact with its fighters as they ambushed advancing Israeli troops an hour before the ceasefire was due to begin yesterday in the Gaza city of Rafah.
There is sure to be more paralyzing destruction in the region in the days to come. The bodies of those massacred are currently being stored in heaps inside of large vegetable refrigerators. Relatives of the deceased wrapped their loved ones’ bloody bodies in white bed sheets. At this point, civilians and medics are unsure of what to do with all of the bodies.
Today’s airstrikes have completely destroyed Gaza City’s Imam Al Shafaey mosque and damaged the historic al-Omeri mosque in the nearby city of Jabalia. Muslims picked through the wreckage in order to collect any scattered copies of the Quran they could find. Israel maintains that these structures were targeted because they were being used to house bombs.
The fate of Gaza in the near future is uncertain at this time. Earlier in the week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a firm stance vowing not to stop his efforts until Hamas was abated. However, Israeli television reported yesterday that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) had accomplished most of what they had set out to do in destroying Hamas’ tunnels into Israel, and would be systematically drawing out of Gaza in large part.
At the same time, senior Israeli officials have not been attending peace talks, as Hamas’ habit of ignoring ceasefire attempts has left ‘no point’ in negotiating. The reality of what the future holds for the people of the Gaza Strip remains to be seen.
Today, protesters gathered in the northern Israeli village of Tamra, which is close to the border with Lebanon and far from the current fighting. Many children participated, holding bundles stained with red to depict the bodies of fallen Palestinians.
Protesters in France and Germany also came out today in opposition of the destruction in Gaza. Some held dolls to represent the child death toll, which has reached 296 as of this morning. UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, said it only included deaths it could definitely verify in that total, which is around a third of the total reported casualties. They broke the total down to 187 boys and 109 girls, 203 of whom were under 12.
This has been the 26th day of the conflict, which began on July 8. It’s hard to imagine living in a land where these horrific scenes are the reality of everyday life. Let us know what you think of these sobering shots in the comments section.