Gaza truce: Palestinians recover scores of bodies from debris

Gaza truce: Palestinians recover scores of bodies from debris
Sat Jul 26, 2014 16:13:12

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip poured into the streets retrieving scores of civilian bodies from the rubble and debris of Gaza homes as the relentless Israeli fire comes to a pause after a humanitarian truce took hold.

With a fragile 12-hour humanitarian truce between Israel and the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas in place, ambulances sped along roads to neighbourhoods that have been too dangerous to enter for days.

Half-way through the truce, they had already found the bodies of 76 people in the rubble across Gaza, pushing the death toll beyond 950 Palestinians killed in the besieged coastal enclave since Israel’s aggression began on July 8.

Women in Beit Hanoun wailed as medics pulled three dead relatives from a home struck overnight by an Israeli air strike. Near Khan Younis, 18 members of a family died from tank shelling shortly before the truce began, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

In northern Beit Hanun, even the hospital was badly damaged by Israel’s shelling, and the charred body of a paramedic was discovered as emergency workers combed the debris for more dead.

Trails of blood on the ground were crossed by Israeli tank tracks.

There were similar scenes in Shejaiya, which has been subjected to days of relentless Israeli tank fire.

Stiff bodies lay on the floor of a room in one building, one caked in dried blood, all of them covered in dust.

To the east of southern Khan Yunis, residents hesitated to enter the Khuzaa neighbourhood, saying Israeli forces remained inside the border area.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said so far during the truce rescue workers had recovered 25 bodies from Shejaiya and Zaitun in eastern Gaza City, 13 more in Deir al-Balah and Nusseirat in central Gaza, and 25 in north Gaza, and 13 in the southern Rafah and Khan Yunis districts.

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas said all Palestinian factions would abide by the brief truce.


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