Fury at ‘re-stocking’ of US-supplied arms as the youngest victim of Israeli bombing operation is just 40 days old
A 40-day-old boy in Gaza lies wrapped in a blanket, not sleeping, but dead – a victim of Israel’s US-sponsored missile blitzes.Baby Kerem Ebu Zeyid was slaughtered in an attack on his home as it emerged soldiers were stocking up at American-owned weapons stores not far away in Israel.
Gaza crisis America gives Israel more ammunition – and more children die
US officials today confirmed they have sold the Jewish state grenades and mortar rounds stored there in case of emergency – yet soon after they were condemning its attacks on Gaza.
Speaking about a UN school that Israel bombed this week, killing at least 19 people and injuring 125, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said: “The shelling of a UN facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible.
“We believe the Israelis need to do more to live up to the own standards that they have set for protecting innocent civilians.”
And he urged Israel’s government and military to end its deadly operation, adding: “These reports that hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians have been killed are tragic.”
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Casualty: A Palestinian child wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a UN school in Beit Lahia
America gives Israel £2billion a year for defence and funds a £750million high tech anti-missile system called the Iron Dome, which protects the state from rocket attacks.
More than 1,400 Palestinians, 220 of them children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting began on July 8.
In stark contrast, 56 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have lost their lives.
Israel, where eight million people live, is bombarding an enclave with a population of just 1.8 million where the average age is just 17.
As well as the 220 children’s deaths, at least 1,516 have been injured in the conflict.
A huge explosion in a Gaza public garden this week killed eight youngsters.
A Palestinian “miracle” baby who was born by caesarean after her mother, 23, was killed in an Israeli air strike died after battling to survive in hospital for three days.
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Other side: The family of Israeli soldier Guy Algranati, 20, mourn during his funeral in Tel Aviv
A four-year-old boy died when tank shells hit his home in Jabaliya. And 46 people, mostly children, were wounded in an attack on a playground in the Shati refugee camp.
Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, hit out at the US for failing to use its influence over Israel.
She said: “They have not only provided the heavy weaponry which is now being used by Israel in Gaza, but they’ve also provided almost $1billion in providing the Iron Domes to protect the Israelis from rocket attacks. But no such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling.”
More than 425,000 people – about a quarter of Gaza’s population – have been displaced from their homes, according to the UN.
Whole communities have been obliterated as aid workers warned a large scale humanitarian crisis is just days away. Health facilities have been badly affected, with some hospitals warning that they only have enough fuel to run electricity generators for another four to five days.
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No let-up: An Israeli soldier carries a shell as he and his comrades prepare their tanks
This could leave nearly one million children without access to electricity, water or medical services.
Dr Yousef al-Sweiti, the Director of the Save the Children-supported al-Awda hospital in northern Gaza, said: “At the hospital we have fuel maybe for a week maximum – if it finishes we will have to stop our work. If this war continues everything will collapse.”
It was decided the state of Israel should be created after the Second World War and the Holocaust, in which six million Jewish people were killed.
The Jewish people were given a large part of Palestine, which they considered their traditional home. But Arabs who already lived there refused to accept the new country.
Two wars in 1948 and 1967 resulted in bloodshed over Israel’s fight for the right to exist.
Israel finally left Gaza in 2005 but soon after, Hamas won elections and took control there.
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Dust storm: Israeli armoured personnel carriers (APCs) drive outside the central Gaza Strip
It refuses to recognise Israel and wants Palestinians to be able to return to their old home.
Israel insists it is acting to stop the Hamas rocket attacks but has been criticised over the scale of the operation. However, Israeli opinion polls show strong public support for it.
Over 16,000 reservists were called up to join the Israeli army yesterday, fuelling speculation the ground campaign would widen.
A total of 86,000 reservists now stand alongside army troops with no end to the conflict in sight.
Back in Britain, Tory MP Margot James has demanded Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond condemn Israel’s response to Palestinian terrorism as “disproportionate”.
She wrote: “The scale of suffering in Gaza cannot be justified on the grounds of defence in proportion to the threat from Hamas.”