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On Eid day, Israel bomb Gaza refugee camp, kill 10 children
Tuesday July 29, 2014 6:15 AM, Agencies

At least ten Palestinian children were killed and 45 others injured on Monday by Israeli shelling of the western Gaza City Al-Shati Camp, a Palestinian Health Ministry official said.

Eid day bombing Gaza
[Palestinian mourners cry at Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital after an explosion killed at least ten children in a public playground in the beachfront Shati refugee camp on Monday. (Photo: AFP)]

The official, who asked not to be named, added that the bodies of at least ten children arrived at Al-Shefaa Hospital, having been killed by an Israeli strike on a camp public park.

He added that 45 injured victims had also arrived at the hospital, describing the conditions of some of the victims as "serious".

Pools of blood lay on the ground in the Beach refugee camp garden in northern Gaza after it was hit by a huge explosion.

"We came out of the mosque when I saw the children playing with their toy guns. Seconds later a missile landed," said Munther Al-Derbi, a resident of the camp.

"May God punish ... Netanyahu," he said.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, meanwhile, denounced the killing of the ten children, saying Israel managed to commit this crime because of what it described as "international silence".

"The massacre of the children of Al-Shati Camp is tantamount to a war crime," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement. "It provokes the feelings of Muslims during the feast," he added.

Spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza Iyad al-Buzm said that explosives experts from the Gaza police had examined "the targeted places and the remnants of shells there" as well as the wounds on the bodies, determining them to be inflicted by an Israeli strike.

The Israeli army, however, said that the deaths were a result of "failed rocket attacks" launched by Palestinian militants.

Government Coordinator in the Territories Yoav Mordechai told Ma'an, however, that the rockets were launched by Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

al-Buzm denied the charges, saying: "The narrative of the Israeli authorities that these are rockets belonging to the Palestinian resistance are false allegations and a failed attempt to avoid responsibility for these crimes for fear of scandal and legal prosecution."

Israel launched a series of aerial strikes on different parts of the Gaza Strip on Monday, the first day in the Islamic minor feast.

The United Nations had proposed a new 24-hour ceasefire that starts at 2:00pm on Monday, but Israel had rejected it.

Hamas had earlier said that Israel refuses to any kind of calm during the Islamic feast.

The Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, on Monday said that it had killed two Israeli soldiers during clashes in the northern Gaza Strip.

"The clashes erupted after Israeli forces razed farmlands in the eastern side of Jabalia city," the brigades said in a statement, noting that it had killed two Israeli troops in the battle.

Meanwhile, caught in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, Gaza’s civilians are increasingly struggling to get by. There is no electricity 21 hours a day because power lines have been hit. Water taps have run dry because there’s no power to their fuel pumps and tens of thousands of displaced sleep on the floors of schools and hospitals.

The hardship is felt more keenly as Muslims are observing the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, which is meant to be a joyous time of festive meals, shared traditional sweets and family visits. Here is a glimpse of life in wartime Gaza.

Men kneel in prayer on blankets laid out in the courtyard of a UN school in Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood, one of dozens of emergency shelters for those who have fled the fighting.
Twenty mosques have been hit by Israeli warplanes so far, according to Palestinian officials.

So the men prefer to perform Eid prayers in the relative safety of the school.

“We can’t go to the mosque because of the shelling,” says 39-year-old Mahmoud Nofal, who has lived at the shelter with 30 members of his extended family for more than a week.

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