Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas leaders in Jabalia refugee camp left at least 195 Palestinians dead
11/02/2023 // Belle Carter // Views

About 195 Palestinians were killed following two airstrikes on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 targeting militant group leaders at the densely populated Jabalia, Gaza's largest refugee camp. A Hamas-run government media office said that about 120 were still missing under the rubble and at least 777 more were wounded.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) admitted it targeted and killed Muhammad A'sar, the commander of Hamas's anti-tank guided missile array, in the strikes on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the initial bombing on Tuesday killed Ibrahim Biari, whom IDF described as one of the Hamas commanders responsible for the October 7 attack.

Survivors and eyewitnesses spoke of apocalyptic scenes in the aftermath of the first strike, which tore a massive crater through the middle of the crowded camp, CNN reported. "I was waiting in line to buy bread when suddenly and without any prior warning seven to eight missiles fell," eyewitness Mohammad Ibrahim told the media outlet. "There were seven to eight huge holes in the ground, full of killed people, body parts all over the place. It felt like the end of the world."

"Children were carrying other injured children and running, with grey dust filling the air. Bodies were hanging on the rubble, many of them unrecognized. Some were bleeding and others were burnt," another eyewitness, Mohammad Al Aswad, told the news network by telephone. "I saw women screaming and confused. They didn't know whether to cry about losing their children or run and look for them, especially since many children were playing in the neighborhood." (Related: REPORT: 60% of Gaza residents killed in Israeli airstrikes so far are WOMEN and CHILDREN.)

The second IDF strike hit the Falluja neighborhood of the same refugee camp the next day. The massive blast destroyed several buildings, with video from the site showing a deep crater and people digging through the rubble searching for bodies.

The bombings have sparked outrage across the Arab world and have been condemned by humanitarian organizations. The United Nations Human Rights Office has said that the attacks on Jabalya, "could amount to war crimes" given "the high number of civilian casualties and the scale of destruction," it wrote on social media.

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht accused Hamas of "hiding, as they do, behind civilians." Reminded that there were many innocent civilians in the camp, Hecht responded, "This is the tragedy of war" and urged civilians to move south.

Meanwhile, European Union and U.S. officials have raised concerns over rising violence in the occupied West Bank, where the U.N. has said at least 121 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of the conflict. But this did not stop them from going to the streets of central Nablus to protest against the Israeli air attack on the refugee camp.

Arab world condemns refugee camp airstrikes in Gaza

Several Arab countries and organizations were quick to denounce Israel's catastrophic bombings in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza which left hundreds dead and injured.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League called on "the international community to intervene urgently to stop this aggression."

The Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning in "the strongest terms the inhumane targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of the Jabalia camp." It said that "preventing bloodshed, protecting civilians and stopping military operations are urgent priorities that cannot be accepted for any procrastination or obstruction. Failure to immediately adhere to them will inevitably lead to a humanitarian catastrophe for which the Israeli occupation and the international community bear responsibility."

Meanwhile, in a statement by the United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministry, it also condemned the severity of the bombing carried out by Israel, stressing that "the continuation of the senseless bombing will lead the region to repercussions that are difficult to remedy." It stressed "the necessity of an immediate cease-fire to prevent bloodshed."

For Qatar, the attack was "a new massacre against the defenseless Palestinian people." Its foreign ministry called on the international community to act quickly to stop the killing and destruction. It added that the bombing "constitutes a dangerous escalation in the course of confrontations and would undermine mediation and de-escalation efforts and portend more tension, violence and instability."

Moreover, Egypt considered the bombing of a residential area "a blatant violation of international law" which will exacerbate the situation. It also urged countries and relevant international bodies to condemn the attack and the international community to shoulder responsibility for protecting Palestinian civilians. Jordan also held Israel, "the occupying power, responsible for this dangerous development" and further called on "the international community to assume its responsibility, deter Israel from committing more crimes against civilians and stop its senseless war on the Gaza Strip." Yemen did the same, asking the international community to take an immediate stance to stop these crimes.

Check our for more updates on the catastrophic Israeli attacks in Gaza.

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