Gaza, July 12: Palestinian women mourn for those killed by Israeli terror bombs
Gaza Strip, July 12 —...Israel bombed a mosque, which its aerial photos indicated was harboring a weapons cache, and a center for the disabled, killing two residents and wounding three, as well as a caretaker....The Israeli bombing of the center for the disabled, the Mabaret Palestine Society here in northern Gaza, occurred just before dawn, when a missile crashed through the roof and exploded. Because it was the weekend, only five of the 19 severely disabled residents were at the center...said Jamila Elaiwa...
She spoke at Al Shifa hospital’s burn unit, while she was visiting the wounded, including Mai Hamada, 30, and Salwa Abu al-Qomssan, 53, the caretaker, both of them with severe burns, while two more residents were in intensive care. The dead were identified as Ula Wisha, 31, and Suha Abusada, 39, whose family said she had been born severely disabled and unable to speak...
Ms. Elaiwa, 59, said that her center was well-known in the neighborhood and that it had been in the same building for almost a decade. She said she had no idea why it would be bombed. “No one lived there except us,” she said. “There was no one else in the building.”
At the site, neighbors picked through the rubble of modest medical equipment and scattered children’s books, from the small neighborhood children’s library Ms. Elaiwa ran. There was a seared copy of “Jane Eyre,” condensed, in English with Arabic translation, and an English-language copy of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”
Neighbors like Yasir Abu Shoodq, 32, stared up at the sky through the holes the missile cut through the roof and each floor before making a crater in the ground. Children picked up the chunks of sharp steel from the crater and made off with them.
Mr. Abu Shoodq said, and Ms. Elaiwa confirmed, that there had first been a warning rocket, “a knock on the roof,” a few minutes before the missile hit. “But no one understood what it meant,” she said. “No one could imagine the center would be a target for anyone.” In any case, she said, the severity of the residents’ disabilities would have prevented them from fleeing on their own.
...The number of dead in Gaza since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge is 120, according to the Palestinian health ministry; just over half of the dead are considered to have been noncombatants by the United Nations.
Source: "As Israel Hits Mosque and Clinic, Air Campaign’s Risks Come Home"
By Steven Erlanger • NY Times, July 12, 2014