Thousands of families flee north Gaza

Al Jazeera reports: After more than 12 hours of work, the bulldozers were still clearing what was once the al-Batsh family’s three-story house in eastern Gaza City, reduced to rubble after Israeli warplanes hit it with two bombs.

The air strike took place just before midnight on Saturday, the fifth day of Israel’s aerial assault on Gaza. Eighteen people from the same extended family were killed, the highest death toll in a single attack so far in the offensive, which has claimed more than 165 Palestinian lives to date.

The bombing in the Shaaf neighbourhood was said to be targeting the local police commander, Tayseer al-Batsh, who survived the strike with serious injuries. Shortly after the house was destroyed, Israel also struck several police and security posts in Gaza City.

“There was no reason to hit the house,” said Mohammed al-Batsh, a lawyer in his 30s, as dozens of people gathered to inspect the home and examine the severe damage to nearby houses.

He added that the airstrike killed Majed al-Batsh, the police commander’s cousin, and 10 members of his family – parents, children, daughters-in-laws and grandchildren. “They posed no threat to Israel. They were not firing rockets. They were civilians, children and women.” [Continue reading…]

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