Following and Israeli forces’ shelling of a Gaza City district which killed at least 60 civilians, including children, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council over the “massacre in Shejaia.”
I am calling for an urgent session tonight of the UN Security Council,” he said in a televised speech from the Qatari capital Doha. “The situation is intolerable,” he said. “What the occupation forces did today in Shejaia is a crime against humanity,” Abbas said. “Those who committed it will not go unpunished.”
As the IDF continues the operation in Gaza, Abbas arrived in Qatar on Sunday to discuss a potential ceasefire with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
Ban condemned the “atrocious action” in Shejaia and urged Israel to “exercise maximum restraint.”
“Too many innocent people are dying (and) living in constant fear,” he said at news conference in Doha.
WARNING: Graphic video of the shelling aftermath in Shejaia
“At least 60 dead in Shejaia alone, and hundreds wounded,” Medhat Abbas, Director General of the Ministry of Health in Gaza told mondoweiss.net. He added, “I don’t have the number now because there is no electricity, no nothing.”
“The Israeli aggression against civilians should be stopped,” said al-Shifa’s hospital administrator.
So far the official death toll stands at 62 Palestinians, as Israel heavily shelled Gaza’s eastern suburb of Shejaia battling the alleged Hamas militants in the bloodiest fighting in the 13-day offensive, medical spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP. Officials said 35,000 people fled the fighting in Gaza on Sunday as the artillery bombardment began.
The ambulances and fire trucks moved in to Shejaia at 10:30GMT after the announcement of a two-hour truce to retrieve the dead and wounded.
Inside the shelled neighborhoods, scores of people lay dead, others were wounded with scenes of entire buildings destroyed. Houses were still ablaze from the IDF onslaught, with corpses burnt almost beyond recognition, with the dead being both young and old, including children.
But in a few hours, the shelling resumed as the IDF announced Hamas had breached the truce and it was responding “accordingly.”
The injured from Shejaia were rushed to Gaza City’s central Shifa Hospital. Chaos reigned inside the hospital as wounded children were brought to the overflowing emergency room, forcing the medical staff to treat the wounded in a hallway. Those who could still walk fled to some of the 61 UN shelters with more than 81,000 people from all over Gaza strip taking sanctuary in them, the refugee agency said.