89 Families Killed in Gaza Since Hostilities Began, Palestinians Say

Health officials say 16 people were killed on Sunday alone, bringing the death toll over the past seven weeks to 2,120.

Palestinian women look outside from the window of their destroyed house, following late night Israeli strikes in Gaza City on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. AP

Officials in Gaza reported on Sunday that that during the seven weeks of fighting in the Gaza Strip, 89 entire families were killed by Israeli bombardments.

According to Gaza Health and Interior Ministry officials, the 89th family was added to the list on Sunday, when the Juda family – a woman and her four children -- of Tel Azatar in the northern part of the Strip, was killed by in an air strike. Local reports say the house was struck without warning and the five were killed immediately.

Reports were also emerging from Gaza claiming that five people, including three children and their mother, were killed in IDF strike in the Tel A-Zatar neighborhood north of Gaza City. An Aircraft reportedly struck the Judeh family home without prior warning.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 16 people were killed Sunday in the Gaza Strip, and another 52 were wounded, bringing the death toll to 2,120 people. Of these, 577 were children, 260 were women, and 101 were elderly people. The number of wounded has reached 10,850, of whom 3,300 are children, more than 2,000 are women and some 400 are elderly.

The 49th day of fighting in Gaza opened with reports of two killed and 20 wounded throughout the Strip, including an attack on a group of people near the large apartment complex known as the Al-Fairouz Towers. In Dir al-Balah the home of the Atleini family was bombed, killing one person and wounding 10. In the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City a two-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy was killed, with five people wounded. Khan Yunis reported one of its toughest days of the campaign, with the Israel Air Force attacking the Abu Maarouf neighborhood at least 11 times. While there was heavy damage, no one was killed, though at least 10 people were wounded.

There were also two targeted killings by the IAF reported, one involving a motorcyclist in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip, and a second strike at a car in the A-Ramal neighborhood of Gaza City that killed Mohammed Talat al-Ghoul, who was responsible for Hamas’ salary transfers. Also among Sunday’s targets was a large commercial center in Rafah – a compound of dozens of stores and businesses that was totally destroyed, with the damage running in the tens of millions of dollars.

In recent days Palestinian websites have been prominently displaying photos of the damaged residential and office buildings, noting that Israel seems to have altered its policy and is now seeking to do as much damage as possible to infrastructures and commercial centers.

The Palestinian school year was supposed to begin on Saturday for some 500,000 children but the school opening has been delayed in Gaza until further notice. Schools opened as scheduled for the West Bank’s 700,000 pupils. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency on Saturday announced a three-phase plan to try to help Gaza’s students and teachers ease into the new school year, even though school cannot open in the usual fashion. According to UNRWA’s website, the plan includes psychosocial interventions, the use of new technology and televised education programs were possible, and self-study materials.