UN OCHA Gaza Situation Report 1 – 8 Nov. 2006
Gaza Strip Situation Report (1-8 November 2006)
INCREASED VIOLENCE AND HIGH RATE OF CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
– Casualties and number of Palestinian rockets and Israeli shells fired (p. 1)
– Summary of IDF incursion into Beit Hanoun (p. 2)
– Overview of Humanitarian Situation (p. 2-4)
– Background on Gaza closures and recent IDF operations (p. 5)
Since the beginning of the latest Israeli military incursion ‘Autumn Clouds’ into Beit Hanoun which began on 1 November, the IDF have killed 82 Palestinians and injured more than over 260 persons in northern Gaza. This includes casualties from today’s artillery attack on an apartment building in the north-west northwest part of the townBeit Hanoun. Almost half of all fatalities have been civilian – at least 39 civilians have been killed, including 18 children (aged 18 years and under) and ten10 women. During the same period, one IDF soldier was killed in Beit Hanoun and another wounded. The stated aim of the Israeli incursion, into Beit Hanoun, which the IDF codenamed Operation Autumn Clouds was to halt the firing of home made rockets into Israel by Palestinian militants.
In today’s attack, Israeli artillery shelling killed 18 Palestinian civilians and injured 55 injured. All but one of the fatalities wereere from one family and included women and children. Reports indicate that the shelling began at approximately 5.30 am and continued for up to 30 minutes during which time the Israel Air Force (IAF) fired approximately between 12 and 15 shells hitting five homes. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had withdrawn from Beit Hanoun 24 hours earlier, following a six day operation in the area.
The UN Special Coordinator, Alvaro de Soto, the Israeli attack today and called upon “the Israeli government to call off these and other military operations without delay. The Palestinian side should cease attacks against Israeli targets.” He added that “our hearts go out today to the victims of this deed and to those they have left behind.”
Figures on Palestinian Qassam rockets and Israeli artillery shells and missiles:
· Since the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 20056, at least 1,700 qassam rockets have been were fired into Israel by Palestinian militants..
· 41 Israelis have been injured by Qassam rockets during this period. This excludes injuries from shock. In addition, two Israeli Bedouins in the Negev were killed handling an unexploded homemade rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.
· The IDF have fired approximately 15,000 artillery shells and more than over 550 air strikes into the Gaza Strip since disengagement. Source: Palestinian District Coordination Office and OCHA Field Reports.
· Approximately 525 Palestinians have been killed and 1,527 have been injured in the Gaza Strip as a result of from Israeli military attacks since September 2005. This is not including 7 deaths and 33 injuries from an explosion on a beach in north Gaza in June 2006, the cause of which remains disputed.
· In spite of the current military operation, 72 homemade rockets and nine9 anti-tank missiles were fired towards Israel between 1 and 7 November. One homemade rocket landed in a school in Ashqelon on 7 November, with no injuries reported.
· During this incursion, the IDF fired 239 artillery shells and launched 66 air to ground missiles into Gaza.
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