A Palestinian boy looks at a house that was hit in an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on 10 August.
(Ezz al-Zanoun / APA images)
Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip were subjected to more than fifty days of relentless Israeli bombardment from 7 July until a open-ended ceasefire was declared on 26 August.
The explosive force Israel dropped on Gaza is roughly equivalent to that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The United Nations agency OCHAdescribes the scale of damage as “unprecedented since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967.”
At least 2,131 Palestinians were killed in the onslaught; 1,473 are believed to be civilians, including 501 children and 257 women, and 279 were members of armed groups. A further 379 persons could not yet be identified or their status established, according to OCHA statistics from 4 September.
“Many fatalities involved multiple family members, with at least 142 Palestinian families having three or more members killed in the same incident, for a total of 739 fatalities,” the agency adds.
The above death toll does not include the approximately 25 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel reportedly executed in Gaza.
As of 26 August, as reported by OCHA, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza stated that “11,100 Palestinians, including 3,374 children and 2,088 women and 410 elderly, have been injured. Preliminary estimates indicate that up to 1,000 of the children injured will have a permanent disability and up to 1,500 orphaned children will need sustained support from the child protection and welfare sectors.”
Seventy-one Israelis were killed during the hostilities, of whom 66 were soldiers, one security coordinator, and four civilians, including a child. A foreign national was also killed in Israel, according to OCHA.
“At the height of the conflict, an estimated 485,000 people — 28 percent of the population of Gaza — were internally displaced,” OCHA states. Approximately 110,000 displaced persons remain in schools administered by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, or with host families.
Approximately 18,000 housing units — or five percent of Gaza’s housing stock — were destroyed or severely damaged during the military assault; there was already a deficit of 71,000 housing units before the intensive bombing began on 7 July.
“The majority of the Gaza population has lost its productive assets,” according to OCHA. “According to the Palestinian Federation of Industries, 419 businesses and workshops were damaged, with 128 completely destroyed.”
Gaza’s economy, already profoundly suffering as a result of eight years of Israeli-imposed and Egypt-enforced blockade, was also impacted by the closure of the commercial crossings.
Farmers and herders were forced to abandon their lands and 17,000 hectares of Gaza’s croplands and much of its agricultural infrastructure was substantially damaged. Access to the sea was prohibited and fishermen continue to be shot at and detained despite the 26 August ceasefire, which restored the six nautical mile limit for fishing off of Gaza’s coast.
Israel bombed Gaza’s only power plant on 29 July and it remains inoperable, resulting in electricity outages of 18 hours per day in most areas. “Extensive damage to the water and wastewater system means that 20 to 30 percent of households, or 450,000 people, remain unable to access municipal water due to damage and/or low pressure,” OCHA adds.
In the Shuafat neighborhood of eastern occupied Jerusalem, a Palestinian boy was abducted and burned alive on 2 July in an apparent revenge attack after the discovery of the bodies of three slain Israeli teens in the West Bank a few days earlier. Three Israelis were later charged in relation to the killing of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair.
Protests and confrontations with Israeli forces erupted throughout the West Bank and present-day Israel after the killing, during which almost 600 Palestinian civilians were injured by Israeli forces, OCHA reports.
“The use of live ammunition as a crowd control method has been on the rise since the start of the protests against the Gaza offensive on 7 July,” OCHA notes in a report from 25 August. “Of the 2,218 injuries recorded in this period, 38 percent were by live ammunition, compared to 14 percent in the first half of 2014 and 4 percent in 2013,” the monitoring group adds.
Palestinian civil society groups in Israel meanwhile report an “increase in campaigns of racial incitement by public officials, the massive arrests of Arab citizens during anti-war demonstrations, police violence during these events, the rights violations of Arab detainees, and the rise of Arab workers being fired from employment as a result of expressing their opinions on Facebook in protest of the war on Gaza, among other subjects.”
The Haifa-based rights group Adalah pointed to an “unprecedented campaign of arrests” of Palestinians in present-day Israel and eastern occupied Jerusalem this summer, making it the largest wave of arrests of Palestinian citizens of Israel since the demonstrations following the killing of thirteen unarmed protesters in October 2000.
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian youth Yousef Abu Zagha, 20, during his funeral at the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank on 1 July. Israeli forces shot and killed the youth during a raid on the camp earlier in the day.
Mourners carry the body of murdered teen Muhammad Abu Khudair as thousands of Palestinians take part in his funeral in the Shuafat neighborhood of eastern occupied Jerusalem on 4 July. The sixteen-year-old was kidnapped and killed in a nationalist-motivated act of revenge for the slaying of three Israeli youths whose bodies were found in the West Bank several days prior.
The fiancée of Abdul Rahman Zamil mourns over the slain fighter’s body at a hospital morgue in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on 7 July. Hamas said seven of its fighters were killed in Israeli airstrikes that day, making it the deadliest for the resistance group since 2012.
Ten-year-old Palestinian boy Khaled Shalat paints at a hospital bed in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on 15 July. The child was admitted to the hospital after an airstrike on his family’s home that killed his father and wounded four others, including his mother.
The bodies of three children from the Shuhaibar family who were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City on 17 July. The children were killed immediately after a temporary five-hour humanitarian ceasefire ended.
Medics evacuate the body of a man from the Shujaiya neighborhood east of Gaza City on 20 July. Dozens of residents were killed and hundreds more wounded by Israeli forces in a massacre in the neighborhood that day.
A protester carries Muhammad Qasem Hamamreh after he was shot in the head during the early morning of 23 July during confrontations with the Israeli army in the West Bank village of Husan. He later died of his wounds.
Family members and friends carry the body of Muhammad al-Araj during his funeral at the Qalandiya refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah on 25 July. Al-Araj was shot and killed by Israeli forces during a mass protest against the onslaught on Gaza at Qalandiya checkpoint.
A Palestinian shot with live ammunition by an Israeli settler is treated at a hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus on 25 July. An Israeli settler fired on a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza in Huwwara village near Nablus, killing one.
Palestinian mourners pray over the bodies of ten victims, including one-year-old Noha Mesleh, killed when a United Nations-run school in Beit Hanoun was hit by Israeli tank shelling, during their funeral in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, 25 July.
Damage inside the al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, following an Israeli attack, 26 July. The direct attack, which took place on 21 July, killed at least five Palestinians and injured seventy.
A relative of one of the children killed in an Israeli strike on a playground in al-Shati refugee camp mourn at a Gaza City cemetery on 28 July, the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan. Ten people, mostly children, were killed and forty injured in the attack.
Palestinian men evacuate the body of Palestinian journalist Rami Rayyan, killed in an Israeli airstrike on a market in the Shujaiya neighborhood east of Gaza City on 30 July. At least 15 people were killed and 150 people wounded in the attack which came shortly after the Israeli army said it was observing a humanitarian lull that would be in force for four hours.
Medics gather around the body of Udai Nafez on 1 August at a hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the young man died after he was shot in the chest during confrontations with Israeli forces in nearby Saffa village. Dozens of Palestinians were wounded by live ammunition and rubber bullets fired by Israeli forces throughout the West Bank that day.
Bodies lie on the floor of Kuwaiti hospital in Rafah, southern Gaza, after Israeli attacks on 3 August. The private hospital opened its doors to emergency cases after Rafah’s al-Najjar hospital was closed.
A paramedic carries the lifeless body of a baby after an Israeli airstrike hit the al-Ghoul family building in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on 3 August. Nine members of the family were killed in the strike.
Israeli rescue workers stand near a body at the scene of an alleged attack in Jerusalem on 4 August. An Israeli was killed and five others injured when a Palestinian operating a mechanical digger ran into a bus in West Jerusalem. The Palestinian driver ran over the Israeli fatality before upturning the bus, according to the UN agency OCHA, and was shot dead by a prison security guard.
Women from the Abu Odeh family prepare dough to bake bread in a destroyed house in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, on 11 August. The Abu Odeh family, 33 people in total, 21 of them children, live in a three-story building that has six apartments. They fled to a school in Jabaliya refugee camp but returned to their bombed home, lacking electricity and gas, because of harsh conditions in the school.
The body of the wanted Palestinian Zakaria al-Aqra, 24, after he was killed by the Israeli army in the village of Qabalan, near the West Bank city of Nablus on 11 August. Six people from the young man’s family were wounded and his house partly destroyed during an eight-hour raid.
Supporters of the Organization for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land (LEHAVA) protest outside the wedding hall where Mahmoud Mansour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and Morel Malcha, Jewish Israeli, married on 17 August in the coastal city of Rishon Letzion.