Update on Gaza, Day 6. According to the New York Times, 19 more people have been killed in Gaza since midnight local time, bringing a current death toll up to 91, with 700 wounded (200 of those being children). According to Health Ministry official Ashraf Al-Kidra, civilians make up half of the Palestinian death toll. [Update: According to Al Jazeera’s figures, it’s 96.]
This morning an Israeli airstrike hit the Shurooq media center, a high-rise in Gaza City where a number of media organizations, both local and foreign, have their offices. The building houses Hamas’ television station, Al Aqsa, and this is the second strike on the building within two days. BBC journalist Paul Danahar tweeted a photo of the media center just after the strike (included in the above photoset).
Mona Mahmood of The Guardian interviewed West Bank resident Sameeh Muhssein about demonstrations in the West Bank in solidarity with Gaza. He said:
The Palestinian Authority is trying to stop the protesters … under the pretext of not having more causalities. If the aggression continued on Gaza, I can promise you there will be a third intifada as the political solution looks really futile and people are very upset here as they learn every few minutes of more martyrs in Gaza. We can’t put our feelings in a refrigerator and just keep watching; it is really heartbreaking watching the bodies of the children under the debris.
From Cairo, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal has stated:
All options are available. If Israel wants a ceasefire brokered through Egypt, then that is possible. Escalation is also possible, especially as there are differences in Israeli statements. We are prepared and ready for all options.
According to Reuters reporting, Meshaal is for a truce if demands are met, demands that include an end to Israel’s attacks and an end to the siege.
Highly recommend staying updated with The Guardian’s ever-excellent live blog, and making sure you read more than what I’ve put up here, which is just a brief snapshot. And check out the Reuters live blog for a live feed of the Gaza City skyline.
Photos: Gaza City/Bernat Armangue/AP; Shurooq media building in Gaza City/Paul Danahar; remains of a Hamas building in Gaza City/Yasser Gdeeh/Reuters; Hamas rockets sent toward Israel/Mohammed Saber/EPA; Gaza City residents flee their homes following an airstrike/Bernat Armangue/AP
Mark Regev, and Israeli government spokesman, is suggesting on al-Jazeera that Hamas is using journalists as human shields. Israel does not target journalists, he said.
An al-Aqsa journalist lost a leg in yesterday’s strike on the building. Regev seemed to draw a distinction between al-Aqsa journalists and those working for the international media. Al-Aqsa is Hamas’s official TV station. He also described the building as hosting part of Hamas’s “command and control” network