The Israeli army carried out 160 airstrikes in Gaza overnight, escalating a bombardment that has killed at least 27 Palestinians and wounded more than 100.
Local media reported on Wednesday morning that one of the airstrikes targeted the house of a commander in the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. An unknown number of casualties were reported.
Another blew up the house of Hafez Hamad, a leader of the military wing of Islamic Jihad. He was killed along with at least four women and children, according to neighbours and hospital officials.
The Israeli cabinet has authorised the army to call up 40,000 reservists. Only a fraction of them have so far been mobilised, though officials hinted at a lengthy campaign in Gaza.
Four rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel between midnight and sunrise, the army said, three of them at the southern city of Be’er Sheva.
A salvo of five rockets was fired at Tel Aviv during the morning rush hour. Most of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, and could be heard exploding south and east of the city centre.
Source Aljazeera news.
Caritas Jerusalem’s Situation in Gaza
Caritas Jerusalem has a number of ongoing projects and activities in Gaza, including a mobile clinic and health center; and other health-related activities including psychosocial counseling for children with prosthetic limbs (as a result of the 2008/9 conflict) and their mothers, as well as activities addressing chronic diseases.
Since the conflict started and due to the immediate need for humanitarian assistance, Caritas Jerusalem has been forced to halt all activities.
At this time, the medical center is not able to operate fully due to the escalation of the bombardments and the life-threatening situation to medical staff.
Despite the closure of our health facilities, Caritas Jerusalem continues to serve the people of Gaza in as many ways as possible. We have two coordinators residing in Gaza City and a Project Manager based in Jerusalem, who are in constant contact with Hospitals, the Ministry of Health, other Catholic Organisations, NGOs and the local parish priest to assess the immediate needs of Gazans and coordinate urgently needed supplies.
Medication and medical supplies
An emergency response in Gaza will only be possible once major hostilities have ceased. In the event of a ground invasion, that could be a matter of several weeks. The scale and scope of Caritas Jerusalem’s response will depend on the length and intensity of the escalation, and will hinge particularly on whether there is a ground invasion.
In the interim, we are preparing for an emergency response of indeterminate scale by keeping close contact with our coordinators, medical teams and hospitals in order to continuously monitor the situation and needs; and beginning discussions with partners in the hope that they will respond to our Emergency Appeal, which we will be launching according to the above assessment.
Caritas Jerusalem condemns the violence and the bloodshed against innocent victims, especially against women and children. We believe every human being has the right to live in peace and without fear.
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
We call the Israelis and the Palestinians to seize this futile bloodshed and strive for peace.
Gaza is already in a very dramatic situation since it is under siege for 12 years and suffered three wars in eight years: constant power cuts, no drinking water, high unemployment rate… this war will only complicate their miserable lives and increase their suffering… They paid a very heavy price already, please don’t let them pay more.. We all have the urgent duty to save their lives especially civilians, women and children who are dying every day.
We also acknowledge the right of Israel to live in peace and Israelis to live in security because they are living in a continuous fear, but we don’t believe that this will come by war and aggression against innocent people, the shortest way to peace and security is justice and resolution of this conflict by giving the Palestinian population their freedom in their land and by opening Gaza to the world.