Eight people have been killed, five of them children, after an Israeli airstrike destroyed an apartment building in Deir al-Balah, a city in Gaza.
The strike on the private home obliterated the apartment complex, leaving two massive craters filled with rubble, killing 5 children, 2 women and 1 man instantly. 13 others were wounded in the attack, 11 of them also children.
An immediate investigation by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) revealed that IOF warplanes launched 4 missiles at 2 tin-plate houses belonging to Rasmi Salem ‘Ouda al-Sawarkah (45) and his brother Mohammed (40). Both houses were destroyed, killing Rasmi, his wife and 3 of their children; Mohammed was severely wounded with his wife and 2 of his children being killed.
Local residents and rescue workers attempted a rescue operation at the scene, recovering the eight deceased and the 13 survivors.
“We were surprised by the shelling and we rushed to the scene to save the family. Some of them were rescued, but the quantities of sand and the large craters were very staggering. We believe there are people still under this rubble, the bombing was deliberate against civilians, the three or four rockets were 15-20 meters deep.”Local resident
Amongst those who miraculously survived the attack is the now orphaned 1-year-old Marah al-Sawarkah who was found alive in the lap of her dead brother Mohanned.
Those killed in the Israeli terror attack are as follows:
- Rasmi Salem ‘Ouda al-Sawarkah (45);
- Mariam Salem Nasser al-Sawarkah (33);
- Yusra Mohammed ‘Awad al-Sawarkah (39);
- Wasim Mohammed Salem al-Sawarkah (13);
- Mohanned Rasmi Salem al-Sawarkah (12);
- Mo’ath Mohammed Salem al-Sawarkah (7);
- Feras Rasmi Salem al-Sawarkah (2); and
- Salem Rasmi Salem al-Sawarkah (3).
The surviving victims of the terror strike were taken to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital where bodies are said to be piling up in the morgue, the medical facility overwhelmed by dozens of injured from the latest round of Israeli violence against the civilian population in Gaza.
“Today at dawn 21 injured, including eight martyrs, which are children, arrived at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. All of them — the 21 including the eight — are civilians. The bodies arrived in pieces, as a result of the bombardment of their house with very heavy bombs from the Israeli F-16. All martyrs have their bodies torn.”Nabil Saleh, General Supervisor in the Emergency Department of al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital
Officials in Gaza say that there have been more than 50 air attacks and 21 artillery strikes against civilian targets over the past few days, with targets including homes, agricultural lands and farms. The death toll is now said to have reached 32 with 48 houses being destroyed in the campaign of collective punishment, 8 of the deceased are said to be children. The wounded include 30 children and 13 women and also include Iman Abu Tayyim who was six-months pregnant when she suffered a miscarriage as a result of a severe anxiety attack during a missile attack near her home.