Bloody mayhem at Gaza market as Israel observes ‘lull’

Baku: At least 17 people were killed when Israeli warplanes fired on a packed Gaza market Wednesday in a deadly raid which came as Israel was observing a four-hour humanitarian lull, APA reports quoting Reuters

Thick black smoke billowed over the site in the war-torn Shejaiya neighbourhood as at least five ambulances raced to the scene where bodies lay strewn on the ground, an AFP correspondent said.

A bloodied, limp lifeless body lay in a pool of petrol and mud, his head crushed, one of at least 17 people who were killed. At least 200 were wounded, medics said.

It was supposed to have been a rare pause for Gaza’s battered population of 1.8 million to go out in safety to stock up on goods, and for medics to evacuate the dead and wounded.

Instead, there was further bloody mayhem with more than 30 people killed across Gaza in the first three hours alone, sending the death toll from 23 days of unrelenting Israeli attacks soaring above 1,300.

Israel had said that its truce, which began at 1200 GMT, would not apply in places were troops were “currently operating” just hours after the army made what a “significant advance” into the narrow coastal strip.

Hamas denounced the four-hour lull as a publicity stunt, saying it had “no value”.

The strike on the market came hours after Israeli tank shells slammed into a school sheltering more than 3,000 homeless people, killing 16 and drawing a furious response from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

It was the second time in a week that a UN school housing refugees had been hit, and UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl lashed out at Israel.

SOURCE: AZERI PRESS NEWS AGENCY