Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}
by fairleft, Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:12:35 AM EST
AP, emphasis added:
Dr. Bassam Abu Warda, director of Kamal Radwan Hospital, said 34 people were killed in an Israeli strike outside a second U.N. school in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya. The United Nations confirmed 30 were killed and 55 injured by tank shells. [This later was upped to 42.]
But an Israeli official said "hostile fire" was directed at the soldiers from within the school. He said soldiers returned fire and multiple explosions went off, presumably emanating from munitions stored there. [This is a lie, as seen in the following two paragraphs and final paragraph of this excerpt -- fairleft.] The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal army announcement.
The attack occurred at midafternoon, at a time when many people in the densely populated Jebaliya refugee camp were out and about. Many of the refugees apparently had stepped outside the shelter to get some air, thinking an area around a school was safe.
Palestinian militants frequently fire from residential areas. However, Mohammed Nassar, a medic who treated the wounded, said he did not see any gunmen among the casualties.
Footage broadcast on Hamas' Al Aqsa TV showed gruesome scenes at the hospital. At first, medics carried in at least five younger boys who were laid out on the hospital floor. It was not clear whether they were still alive.
Other medics then started unloading bodies of older men who had been stacked up in the back of an ambulance, three high, and were dragged without stretchers. One man's legs had been turned into bloody stumps that dragged on the ground as he was pulled from the ambulance.
In later scenes, the emergency room was packed, with all beds occupied and barely a patch of ground where there was not a body or a doctor standing. In other rooms, there were blood stains on the floor and other bodies lying there, with medics running to each of them to take their pulses.
"I saw a lot of women and children wheeled in," said Fares Ghanem, another hospital official. "A lot of the wounded were missing limbs and a lot of the dead were in pieces."
Majed Hamdan, an AP photographer, said he rushed to the scene shortly after the attacks. At the hospital, he said, many children were among the dead.
"I saw women and men -- parents -- slapping their faces in grief, screaming, some of them collapsed to the floor. They knew their children were dead," he said. "In the morgue, most of the killed appeared to be children. In the hospital, there wasn't enough space for the wounded."
He said there were marks of five separate explosions, all in the same area near the school as the refugees were outside at midday to escape the confines of the crowded building.
Video and further reporting are at the London Times.
The number of children killed in Gaza has now reached 100, according to Save the Children. The figure does not include those killed today at the schools.
Ken Caldwell, the charity's Director of International Operations, said: "Young children are suffering the worst of this crisis. They are under immense stress, often unable to sleep, some in such a state of shock that they are unable to cry.
"The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening hour by hour. Thousands of young lives are now in acute danger. Every world leader must urgently push again for a ceasefire and immediate humanitarian access, otherwise children will continue to die."
Barack Obama, where are you?UPDATE:
The death of forty-two people in an Israeli attack at a UN-run school in Gaza today finally forced Barack Obama to break his silence over the conflict. "The loss of civilian life in Gaza and Israel is a source of deep concern for me," the US President-elect said. He would not be drawn further, promising to abide by his principle that only George W. Bush would speak for American foreign policy while he was still President of the United States.Barack, urge Israel to stop. Enough! You are a world leader, time is now to start acting like one.