Khuza’a

 

A sample, per Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, of what Israeli forces did in Khuza’a last summer:

On 17 July, Israel sent mass SMS messages to residents to evacuate the town. Many left; others could not or chose not to, having heard of the terrible, overcrowded conditions that awaited them. Some left and returned a few days later, believing the area to be safe. On 20-23 July, Israeli forces isolated the town and commenced heavy shelling. Tanks and ground forces invaded. About 200 elderly and chronically ill people took refuge in a clinic belonging to Dr. Kamal Qdeih. Having tried and failed to arrange with Israel an evacuation via the ICRC, and as bombing intensified, they resolved to collectively march out of the town together with others trapped in the town. On 23 July, 500-3,000 people marched towards Khan Younis, waving white flags and calling out, ‘peaceful, peaceful’. The group came under fire from Israeli soldiers, which according to Dr. Qdeih injured about 31 people. A relative of Qdeih’s, a wheelchair-bound 16 year-old girl being pushed by her brother, was among the marchers. When the shooting began the brother fled, leaving her behind. ‘[Her] charred body was found by her family on 1 August 2014 in the street’. The crowd retreated under fire to the clinic; once inside, Dr. Qdeih set about treating the injured, with anaesthetic while it lasted. The clinic was then struck by two missiles, which injured several people including the doctor, and killed his brother. An hour later, a missile hit the brother’s house, injuring 20-25 people. About 200 of those hiding in the clinic fled to the basement of a neighbouring house. PHR sought without success to coordinate their evacuation with the Israeli authorities, and an ambulance was reportedly prevented by Israeli forces from approaching. The following day, the basement was attacked with teargas and a missile, before the group was finally permitted to evacuate—although at least three more were killed by a tank as they did so.

 

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