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Thursday, January 08, 2009


763 dead in Gaza

Two days ago I wrote that even if the assault on Gaza stopped immediately, hundreds more would still die because of the poor (or non-existent) medical care available to the injured. I forgot to mention another category - the people buried under the rubble etc. who were already dead, but just not yet known or counted. And indeed, Al Jazeera is now reporting that, thanks to the three-hour "lull" yesterday, at least 50 more bodies were recovered, bringing the known dead toll up to 763.

I'm not sure if these people are included in that 50, but I'm sure they're far from the only ones in a similar situation:

Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances and ICRC officials managed to reach several houses in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City on Wednesday after seeking access from Israeli military forces since last weekend, the ICRC statement said.

The rescue team "found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses," the ICRC said.

"They were too weak to stand up on their own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up. In all there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses," it said.

In another house, the team found 15 survivors of Israeli shelling including several wounded, it said.

Three corpses were found in another home. Israeli soldiers posted some 80 meters (yards) away ordered the rescue team to leave the area which they refused to do, it said.
Some of those dead probably could have been saved, had Israel not violated international law multiple times - first by bombing civilian targets to begin with, and second by denying aid to the wounded:
The ICRC said it had been informed that there were more wounded sheltering in other destroyed houses in the area.

"The ICRC believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuated the wounded. It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable," it said.

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