– ’Hundreds’ Wounded & Dead After Israel Strikes Refugee Camp In Gaza, IDF Spox Shrugs Off Civilian Deaths:
Update(1630ET): There’s been more confirmation of the Israeli airstrikes on a densely populated refugee camp in Jabaliya neighborhood, which lies north of Gaza City. Israel’s military has owned up to it, saying an important senior Hamas commander who helped plan the Oct.7 terror attack was eliminated. Al Jazeera is citing health sources at the nearby “Indonesian Hospital” to say that at least 50 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians, and that number is expected to rise. “Hundreds” are said to have been injured and killed in the attack, per Sky News.
But when an IDF spokesman was pressed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer over why Israel chose to attack even while knowing hundreds of civilians were there, he essentially explained that eliminating the Hamas commander was more important than safeguarding civilian lives (see exchange below). The New York Times has detailed of the massive strikes on the neighborhood area and refugee camp:
The Gaza Health Ministry, which is controlled by Hamas, said the Israeli strikes killed and wounded “hundreds” of people in the Jabaliya neighborhood, a statement that could not be immediately verified. A doctor at a nearby hospital said the facility was receiving hundreds of injured and that dozens were dead.
Israel’s military said in a statement that its fighter jets, in a “wide-scale” attack, had struck Hamas militants, including a commander who helped plan the Oct. 7 massacre that left 1,400 people dead, mostly civilians.
“His elimination was carried out as part of a wide-scale strike on terrorists and terror infrastructure belonging to the Central Jabaliya Battalion, which had taken control over civilian buildings in Gaza City,” the military said.
It reiterated a warning for Gazans to evacuate south, a call that came as Israeli ground troops and tanks pushed deeper into the Gaza Strip and were edging closer to the territory’s main city. More than half the population of two million people has been displaced since Israel expanded a blockade of the enclave in response to Hamas attacks that killed 1,400 people.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer: You knew that there were innocent civilians in that refugee camp, right?
IDF spox: This is the tragedy of war. We told them to move south.
Blitzer: So you decided to drop the bomb anyway.
IDF spox: We’re doing everything we can to minimize civilian deaths. pic.twitter.com/oAtW7jV0pc
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 31, 2023
World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the loss of life in Gaza is reaching “staggering” numbers. He stated, “The number of civilian casualties in Gaza is staggering. The limited aid flow is a mere trickle of the growing needs. Without urgent, unrestricted access at scale, tragedy will continue unfolding before our eyes,” he emphasized.
The White House has continued to reject calls for a ceasefire, in support of its Middle East partner Israel. However, the bad optics of the IDF’s spokesman essentially shrugging off mass civilian death when pressed by Wolf Blitzer will only serve to increase the international pressure. When its not Putin or Assad doing it, it must be ‘okay’… the message to the globe seems to be from Washington and the Western allies.
Pressure mounting on Israel, and no doubt the White House as Gaza deaths soar past 8,500
This is not self-defense. Unquestionably a war crime. pic.twitter.com/eyuHaoB8oE
— Levent Kemal (@leventkemaI) October 31, 2023
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