Israel-Gaza conflict: 10 Palestinian children killed and 46 injured in strike on hospital and park

The violence cut short a truce to mark the end of Ramadan which failed to last 24 hours

Two strikes which hit the compound of Gaza City’s main hospital and a nearby park killed ten children and wounded 46 on Monday – hours after Israel and Hamas had declared a truce.

The park in the Shati refugee camp was hit minutes after a strike on the outpatients unit at the Shifa Hospital on the edge of the city.

Ayman Sahabani, the head of the emergency room at Shifa Hospital, claimed that children were playing on a swing in the park when they were killed. Nine of the 10 killed were children under the age of 12, and 46 were injured. Camera crews were prevented from filming the area of impact at Shifa, according to reporters on the scene.

In Israel, meanwhile, the military said a mortar attack on southern Israel caused "deaths and injuries," but did not disclose further details. Israeli media reported that the attack killed at least four people, which saw military helicopters rushing stretchers away to local hospitals.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) tweeted that Hamas were to blame for the deaths in Gaza, and accused the group of “hit[ting] their own people” with misfired rockets. But officials from Gaza's police operations room, Civil Defence and Sahabani, said the deaths and injuries were caused by Israeli airstrikes.

A short while ago, terrorists in Gaza fired rockets at Israel. 1 of them hit Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The other hit Al-Shati refugee camp.

— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 28, 2014

 

Following the tweet, Lt Col Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman reiterated that Israel was not involved. "This incident was carried out by Gaza terrorists whose rockets fell short and hit the Shifa Hospital and the Beach (Shati) camp," he said.

Israeli media reported that the attack killed at least four people, which saw military helicopters rushing stretchers away to local hospitals.

Kim Sengupta, The Independent's Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent currently based in Gaza, tweeted:

#Gaza horrendous child casualties at Shifa Hospital, Hamas and Israeli military blaming each other.

— Kim Sengupta (@KimSengupta07) July 28, 2014

The airstrikes came after fighters labelled "terrorists" by the Israeli military used a tunnel to slip into an Israeli village from the Gaza Strip, and fought a gun battle with troops on Monday.

The IDF tweeted: "Terrorists infiltrated Israel from Gaza in order to attack an Israeli community near the border. IDF forces have responded."

Israeli television reported that five Hamas gunmen were killed, while Hamas in turn said its fighters had killed 10 Israeli soldiers. The Israeli military said four more soldiers died in a mortar attack.

After the infiltration at Nahal Oz, a kibbutz collective village east of Gaza City, the Israeli army warned thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes in areas around Gaza City - a type of warning which usually precedes strikes. As the sun set in Gaza, army flares lit up the sky and the sound of intense shelling could be heard.

During a televised speech on Monday, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis to be "ready for a prolonged campaign" against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He added he believed a demilitarisation of Gaza must be part of any future solution in the territory.

Fighting between Israel and Hamas had eased slightly from around 9:30pm on Sunday night, after Hamas requested a 24-hour pause in violence to mark Eid al-Fitr – the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Speaking to Israel Radio earlier on Monday, the Israeli military's chief spokesperson Brigadier General Motti Almoz said: "The situation is an unlimited truce."

He nonetheless added that "the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are free to attack after any fire if there is any."

While a small number of rockets continued to fly from Gaza on Monday, and the Israeli army responded with tank and artillery shelling, the truce marked one of the calmest nights in the three-week conflict.

Since fighting began almost exactly two weeks ago, at least 1,085 Palestinians, 52 Israeli soldiers, two Israeli civilians and one Thai national.

During an emergency meeting held after midnight in New York (4am GMT), the UN Security Council urged Hamas and Israel to “accept and fully implement a humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond”. But as it was not a resolution, the truce was therefore not legally binding — a point criticized early Monday by the Palestinians, who said they will keep pressing the UN's most powerful body to adopt a strong resolution.

Read more: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
Israeli military releases video footage blowing up Hamas tunnel
Greek Orthodox church becomes a small refuge in Gaza

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Manindeour said: "You cannot keep 1.8 million Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip in this huge prison," he told reporters. "That is a recipe for disaster. It is inhumane, and it has to be stopped and it has to be lifted."

Meanwhile, Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said the council statement didn't mention Hamas or the firing of rockets into Israel or Israel's right to defend itself, and stressed that it had agreed to five cease-fires since the conflict began.

On Monday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reinforced the Security Council's call for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire, and demanded that Israel and Hamas end the violence "in the name of humanity."

The secretary-general said he had had a lengthy conversation with Netanyahu on Monday morning, when he urged the Israeli leader to accept a cease-fire before addressing the root causes of the conflict. He said he had indirectly contacted Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal through Qatar and Turkey, which have good relations with Hamas,.

During his address, the UN chief accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mashaal of being irresponsible and "morally wrong" for letting their people get killed in the conflict. He urged them to demonstrate "political will" and "compassionate leadership" to end the suffering of war-weary citizens. 

He added that "Gaza is in critical condition" following attacks by the Israeli military that had killed helpless civilians and raised "serious questions about proportionality," he told reporters, adding that there must be accountability and justice for actions committed by all sides.

As an occupying power, Israel has "an international legal obligation to protect civilians" he said, as he called on its government to do "vastly more" to ensure the safety of UN sites where more than 173,000 Gazans have sought refuge.

Additional reporting by agencies

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past