Israel vows that “Gaza will burn”
By 13 May 2021
“This is just the beginning,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday as Israel’s bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip intensified on its third day.
Israel’s war cabinet approved plans to broaden the bombing campaign, which has killed dozens of Palestinians so far, including children.
Israeli ministers were reportedly unanimous in their refusal to accept any ceasefire yet.
“We will hit them with strikes they have never dreamed of,” Netanyahu said as he announced the assassination of senior Hamas commanders earlier on Wednesday.
At that time, he was Israel’s chief of staff commanding the 51-day assault that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children.
“Gaza will burn,” Gantz said in the video, a direct threat to civilians that likely constitutes evidence of premeditated intent to commit war crimes.
“Gaza residents, the last time that we met on Eid al-Fitr, I was chief of staff during Operation Protective Edge,” he says in the video over footage of destruction.
“Ever since, Gaza is still trying to rehabilitate itself,” he adds.
“If Hamas does not stop its violence, the strike of 2021 will be harder and more painful than that of 2014.”
Gantz accused Hamas of operating out of civilian neighborhoods in order to justify what he said would be “more extensive and intense” damage in Gaza.
Netanyahu’s Arabic spokesperson Ofir Gendelman used a fake video on Tuesday to accuse Hamas of using “human shields” by “firing rockets at Israel from populated areas.”
Bezalel Smotrich, a member of Israel’s parliament, called on the military to “flatten the Strip,” in a tweet on Tuesday.
אין מנוס ממיטוט חמאס. לשטח את הרצועה.
— בצלאל סמוטריץ' (@bezalelsm) May 11, 2021
Death and destruction
Gaza’s health ministry reported 53 Palestinians killed in Gaza since Monday, including 14 children, and more than 300 injuries.
However, the number of dead and injured has been mounting by the hour.
Six people have been killed in Israel, including a 5-year-old child fatally injured when shrapnel from a rocket hit their family’s bomb shelter in Sderot, as well as an occupation soldier killed by an anti-tank missile fired by Hamas.
Those killed in Israel include two Palestinian citizens, Khalil Awaad and his daughter Nadine. They reportedly had no access to a bomb shelter in the village of Dhamas where they lived.
I’m at the burial of a father and daughter, both Arab citizens of #Israel – who were killed early this morning in Lod area in a rocket attack from #Gaza. People here say they don’t have bomb shelters. Lod itself has been ripped apart by violence separate to the rocket fire. pic.twitter.com/GbcW1pxgx8
— Bel Trew (@Beltrew) May 12, 2021
Israeli warplanes have dropped dozens of missiles and opened artillery fire onto the Gaza Strip, targeting civilians and their property, large residential towers, government buildings, roads, public facilities, agricultural lands, two schools and a mosque.
An Israeli missile also struck a COVID-19 quarantine facility. A mother and baby clinic was also damaged and went out of commission.
Israel “returned to the strategy of destroying homes over the heads of their inhabitants,” Al Mezan, a human rights group in Gaza, stated on Wednesday.
Al Mezan asserted that “what the occupation forces are committing amounts to war crimes.”
Several high-rise towers destroyed by Israel housed dozens of homes, businesses and media offices.
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