Israelis on the Offensive in Gaza
News Brief – July 19, 2006
From the early hours of this morning Israeli forces launched attacks on the El-Maghazi refugee camp. Thus far their operation has claimed six lives, including two children, with many more injured.
According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, the Israeli operation began in the early hours of Wednesday July 19, when an undercover Israeli unit infiltrated the east of El-Maghazi refugee camp. A clash erupted with Palestinian resistance fighters that left one Palestinian dead.
Shortly thereafter, Israeli reinforcements arrived including heavy armour, bulldozers, and helicopters and unmanned surveillance drones.
At around 08:20 an Israeli tank fired on a group of civilians in the camp killing 2 children and injuring a further 15 adults, 2 of them seriously.
While the above was unfolding in El-Maghaz, Israeli forces moved in on Nablus at 03:00. A force of nearly 40 armoured vehicles supported by 5 bulldozers entered the city, surrounded the Government Compound and called upon those inside to surrender. Meanwhile Israeli forces also seized the Ministry of Health Compound, which they turned into an interrogation center.
Thereafter Israeli bulldozers began closing streets around the Government Compound with earthen barriers. At around 07:00 the Israelis threatened to demolish the besieged buildings if the armed occupants did not surrender. Shortly thereafter, the bulldozers began to systematically demolish the buildings – with the occupants still inside.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported that they had retrieved 3 bodies from the rubble but Israeli forces seized the corpses and took them to the occupied Ministry of Health Compound.
It should be noted that the bulldozer is becoming a favourite weapon for the Israelis. It is now being regularly used to kill activists like Rachel Corrie, demolish Palestinian homes and literally crush all opposition. For an insight into the minds of those who drive these behemoths see Kurdi Bear.
The following day Israeli bulldozers continued operations in Nablus, systematically demolishing buildings and detaining Palestinians for interogation.
Last updated 21/07/2006