Israel Escalates Military Offensive in Gaza

September 3, 2006

Israel continues to escalate its military offensive against the Palestinian people.

On August 31, Israel ended a 5-day military incursion into the Shejaeya Neighborhood, east of Gaza City. 20 Palestinians were killed and at least 72 injured, many in critical condition. According to sources and eyewitnesses, intense shelling by tanks in this densely-populated neighborhood caused the high death toll.

Since the beginning of Israeli military operations on June 25, at least 203 Palestinians have been killed and 779 Palestinian civilians have been wounded. Over 200 air-to-surface missiles and hundreds of artillery shells have been fired at Palestinian civilian and military targets in the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested, including members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and over 3,400 Palestinians have been displaced. Israel has deliberately targeted and destroyed the civilian infrastructure including many homes, electrical plants, agricultural lands, water supplies, roads, bridges, and government buildings.

The military offensive in Gaza was accompanied by the full closure of the strip. All border crossings were closed, thus crippling the economy and preventing the delivery of all food, medicine, and fuel.