Ceasefire Broken From Day One
Sunday, Jan 18
After a 22-day assault on Gaza in which 1314 Palestinians were killed and 13 Israelis were killed, Israel and Hamas each declared a ceasefire. Within several hours, the first breach took place, when Israel killed a Palestinian civilian:
The UN reports: “One Palestinian farmer was killed on the morning of 18 January in Khuza’a east of Khan Yunis following the Israeli-declared cease-fire.”
Monday, Jan 19
Once again the ceasefire was breached when Israel killed another Palestinian civilian. Palestinian militants did respond, but caused no damage or injuries:
The UN reports: “On 19 January, a Palestinian farmer was killed by Israeli gunfire east of Jabalia. The same day, Palestinian militants fired a number of mortars towards Israel and also shot at Israeli troops still inside the Gaza Strip. No injuries or damage were reported.”
Wednesday, Jan 21
Israeli naval boats fired at the Gaza coastline, causing some damage.
IMEMC reports: “On Wednesday, the boats fired shells at the coast line, causing damage but no injuries.”
Thursday, Jan 22
A Palestinian child was wounded by gunfire from Israeli troops, between 4 and 7 Palestinian civilians (fishermen) were injured when they were fired upon by Israel’s navy, and a home was set fire by shells from the Israeli navy:
The UN reports: “Four Palestinians were injured on 22 January by a shell fired from an Israeli gunboat off the Gaza coast. The same day, a house was set on fire by a shell fired from an Israeli gunboat. No injuries were reported. Also on 22 January, IDF troops shot and injured a child east of Gaza City near the border.”
IMEMC reports: “On Thursday of last week, Israeli Navy forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen just off the shore of Gaza City, injuring seven civilians.”
Saturday, Jan 24
Israeli tanks fired on the border town of Al Faraheen, causing damage to homes and farms. Also, Aid agencies call on Israel to finally open all crossings into Gaza:
IMEMC reports: “On Saturday, the Israeli army opened fire at residents homes and farmlands located in Al Faraheen village located in the southern part of the Gaza strip. Local residents said that Israeli tanks stationed at the borders opened fire at their homes and farms; damage was reported but no injuries.”
Maan News reports: “A coalition of international aid agencies urged the Israeli government on Saturday to open the Gaza Strip’s border to allow vital goods into the territory… The agencies, including Oxfam, Save the Children, and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) held a news conference on Saturday at the intensive care unit of Gaza’s Ash-Shifa Hospital to point up an ongoing humanitarian crisis stemming from Israel’s blockade.”
Sunday, Jan 25
Israeli F-16s flew over Gaza, causing schools, government offices, and banks to close and causing Egypt to rapidly evacuate all of its personnel from the Rafah crossing in fear that an attack was imminent.
Haaretz reports: “On Sunday Israeli F-16s flew over Gaza, terrifying people who thought Israel was launching a new offensive. A number of banks, government offices and schools were closed, occupants running to their homes as the Israeli warplanes flew overhead.”
Maan News reports: “Egypt suddenly and rapidly evacuated its personnel from the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Sunday fearing a possible Israeli airstrike on the Palestinian side of the crossing, Egyptian security sources said.”
By Eva Bartlett
January 26 2009
At 7.30 am Jan. 22, five days after Israeli authorities declared a ‘ceasefire’ following their 22-day air, land and sea bombardment of the Gaza Strip, Israeli gunboats renewed shelling off the Gaza city coast, injuring at least six, including four children.
Mu’awiyah Hassanain, director of Ambulance and Emergency Services, reported more shelling in the north-western coastal area As Sudaniya the same morning. Five fishermen were injured in the attacks, he said.
About 9.45 am that morning in Sheyjaiee district to the east of Gaza city, seven-year-old Ahmed Hassanian was outside his house with friends when Israeli soldiers fired from the eastern border. A bullet lodged in his brain, causing brain haemorrhage. Dr. Fawzi Nablusi, director of the ICU at Shifa hospital, says the boy is not expected to survive.
Three Palestinians have been killed since the ceasefire and 15 injured, including the ten injured Jan. 22, according to both Mu’awiyah Hassanain and Dr. Hassan Khalaf.
Hours after the ceasefire was said to have come into effect Jan. 18, Israeli warplanes flew extremely low over areas of Gaza. Drones capable both of photographing and of dropping targeted missiles continued to circle overhead. At 8.30 am Jan. 18, one of these drones dropped two missiles in the Amal area east of Beit Hanoun, killing 11-year-old Angham Ra’fat al-Masri and injuring her mother.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reports further violations of the ceasefire, including the killing of Maher abu Rjaila, 23, shot in the chest by Israeli troops at 10.40 am Jan. 18 as he walked on his land east of Khan Younis city.
Israeli soldiers fired on residents of Al-Qarara, near Khan Younis, at 1 pm Jan. 20, shooting Waleed Al-Astal, 42, in his right foot.
In Shifa hospital, Yasser Abed, 15, from Gaza’s Beach camp, explained how he received a shard of shrapnel in his forehead. “I went out of my house to see what was happening,” he said. “I didn’t see the gunboat, didn’t see anything.” His father explains that Yasser was rushed to Shifa after the shrapnel hit him, and that there was a girl nearby aged about four who was also hit by a piece of shrapnel.
In another room at Shifa, 11-year-old Nisreen Al-Quqa tells how she was out walking on the beach with her brother when the Israeli navy began to fire upon Palestinian fishermen. A piece of shrapnel from the shelling got lodged in her right calf muscle. “What ceasefire?” the girl’s mother said, looking down at her daughter. But she knows Nisreen is lucky to have only a minor leg injury; it could have been much worse.
Others injured after the ceasefire include a 14-year-old boy hit in the thigh by shrapnel fragments, and a 35-year-old man also with shrapnel injury.
Israel‘s assault on Gaza killed at least 1,330 people, with as many as 200 more bodies expected to be recovered from under the rubble of more than 4,000 destroyed houses and 20,000 buildings.
Ninety percent of the cases in Shifa’s ICU are civilian, and of these half are women and children, says Dr. Fawzi.
Ceasefire violations are not new. During the six-month ceasefire that began Jun. 19, Israeli forces killed 22 Palestinians, many of them members of resistance groups. Thirty-eight fishermen and farmers were abducted.
Israeli soldiers routinely fired upon fishermen and farmers along Gaza’s eastern and northern borders, injuring 62, according to Palestinian sources.