One woman killed, 16 injured in Israeli siege on Gaza mosque

A Palestinian girl protests Israel’s latest incursion into Gaza at a Hamas rally in the northern Gaza Strip, 3 November 2006. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)

Ma’an - In the ongoing Israeli ‘Operation Autumn Clouds’, Israeli forces opened fire on women who were trying to assist the escape of a group of Palestinian fighters besieged in An-Nasser mosque in Beit Hanoun.

One Palestinian woman was killed and another is currently in a state of clinical death. At least another 16 women were injured, of whom three are in a critical condition.

The women were staging a demonstration demanding an end to the siege of the An-Nasser mosque, in which dozens of Palestinian men have been holed up since Thursday evening. The Israeli army announced that its forces had surrounded 60 armed Palestinians in the mosque in the fiercest attack so far in the current Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army says the offensive aims to end the launching of projectiles from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

On Friday morning, Israeli bulldozers arrived to start destroying the besieged mosque. The women began demonstrating as the Israeli soldiers opened fire. As a result, the mosque was not totally demolished and the besieged Palestinian men managed to escape and flee without injury.

However, one of the women protesting was killed by an Israeli bullet and 18 others were injured in the gunfire. Three women are in a critical condition and one is in a state of clinical death.

Eyewitness told Ma’an that the roof of the mosque collapsed completely.

One of the injured women being treated in Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip told our correspondent, “We brought in women’s clothing for the besieged resistance fighters in the mosque so that they could get out without the soldiers being able to know that they withdrew.”

Palestinian medical sources said that 25 Palestinians have been killed, and some 125 injured, since the start of Israel’s current offensive on the Gaza Strip two days ago. The Israeli army is claiming to have killed 34 Palestinians.

At dawn on Friday morning, four members of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, were killed when an Israeli warplane targeted their car in the Ash-Shuja’iyyah district of Gaza City.

Our correspondent in Gaza reports that according to medical sources, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at the car, killing four members of the Al-Qassam Brigades, including the field leader, ‘Amar Mushtahi. The other three were not immediately identified due to the severe distortion and fragmentation of their bodies upon arrival at the hospital. Later, the two were named as Tamir Hils and Muhammad Farhat, both members of the Al Qassam Brigades.

The Al Qassam Brigades said that the four men were on the way to carry out a “resistance operation”. The Brigades promised revenge for their assassination.

In Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza Strip, Shadi As-Sharif and Hassan Salah were killed in an Israeli raid.

In addition, the Al Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, announced that three of their fighters were injured early on Friday in an air raid east of Jabalia in the central Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the Al Quds Brigades said that a reconnaissance plane fired a missile at the ‘resisters’, injuring three. They were sent to Al Awda Hospital in Jabalia camp where two are said to be in a critical condition.

The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, especially in the areas of Beit Hanoun and Jabalia, continues.

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