Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel takes brutal revenge on Rafah for the loss of a soldier

Despite a ceasefire, air strikes continued to devastate the place where Hadar Goldin was killed

Gaza City

The air strike came after Israel declared another ceasefire: a missile hitting a home in the teeming centre of Gaza City, killing five people, including two children, amid fears that bombs will continue to rain down on a population with nowhere to escape even if Israel withdraws its ground forces.

On Monday night, those fears were only heightened when Israel ended its truce, which had covered only parts, and not all, of Gaza. “The campaign in the Gaza Strip goes on,” said the office of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. “The operation will end only when a prolonged period of quiet and security is restored to Israel’s citizens.”

The statement came despite the plea of the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who hours earlier had broken off from an event commemorating the past carnage of the First World War to insist: “This slaughter, this killing, has got to end.”

But the Israeli military had always stressed that the humanitarian truce would be limited to seven hours and would not cover Rafah, where air, artillery and tank strikes began on Friday after Israel accused Hamas of kidnapping a soldier and killing two others in a suicide bombing.

It was subsequently confirmed that Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was killed in action. But there was no respite for Rafah, where a United Nations school was hit by a missile that killed 10, an attack the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had called a “moral outrage and a criminal act”.

Operations continued yesterday with Israeli forces saying that, as well as hunting “terrorists”, they were destroying tunnels which had been used to launch rocket attacks.

There was violence across the border in Jerusalem, with police shooting dead a man who drove an excavator into a bus; a pedestrian was also killed. Hours later, a gunman shot and wounded a soldier near the Hebrew University before fleeing on a motorbike.

Lt Hadar Goldin was initially thought captured, then later confirmed as having been killed in action Lt Hadar Goldin was initially thought captured, then later confirmed as having been killed in action (EPA) There were short but intense bursts of action during the night, with the Israeli military carrying out air and naval strikes. Daniel Mansour, a commander of Islamic Jihad, a militant group allied to, but not part of, Hamas, was killed in a targeted raid, the group said.

The survivors in one Palestinian family, the al-Bakaris, said they had no political connections and demanded to know why they had to suffer as neighbours and emergency services dug into the rubble in the hope of finding six people still missing. One of the bodies recovered was that of Ramadan, one of two brothers who owned the house.

His sister, Maha, was at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, watching over Ramadan’s three-year-old son, Ali, when she heard about her brother’s death. “My family, our people, are being slaughtered like animals,” she said. “This continues day after day, all the big leaders around the world say this must stop and then they do nothing. How many of the resistance have the Israelis killed? Look in the morgue and you will see the dead are children, women, old people. What has this little boy done to be hit by a bomb?”

Lying in his hospital bed, Ali stared ahead with frightened eyes. He had not spoken since being dug out of the rubble three hours earlier. Um Jihad al-Burai, whose house next door was damaged in the blast, said: “This will go on for months. So what if they withdraw their troops? They will just keep using their planes and bombs against us. They will kill us when they want to. We can’t go anywhere. They have kept us chained with the blockade. We cannot escape anywhere. We are trapped.”

The Palestinian toll on the 28th day of the war was more than 1,831 killed and 9,000 injured, most of them civilians, said Palestinian health officials and the UN. All but three of the 64 Israelis killed have been from the military. An estimated 3,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed or damaged.

Representatives of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad held their first formal meeting in Cairo with Egyptian mediators in a process supposed to lead to a long-term ceasefire. Tony Blair, the Middle East envoy, and the US special envoy, Frank Lowenstein, were also present. The Israelis, however, refused to turn up for the talks after, they said, Hamas broke a 72-hour ceasefire on Friday by acts including the attack that killed Lt Goldin.

Video: Second day of Gaza-Israel truce

Sami Abu Zuhri, the Hamas spokesman in Gaza, accused Israel of cynically manipulating what happened with Lt Goldin. “They tricked and deceived the world. They said the soldier had been abducted and now they say he was killed in battle. They manufactured this to break the ceasefire while blaming us, and then they committed a massacre in Rafah.”

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Mr Netanyahu, told CNN that Israel’s goal with yesterday’s truce was “to assist with the humanitarian relief” of the people of Gaza. Italy said it was sending to Gaza 30 tonnes of supplies, including tents, emergency generators and water-purification kits. Meanwhile, the British Government said it was looking into reports that a UK national, believed to be an aid worker from Rochdale, was killed in Rafah on Sunday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
house + home
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Life and Style
Bats detect and react to wind speed and direction through sensors on their wings
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living