Kristen Ess for PNN
21 April 2004
The Israeli military are invading Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. Until this moment they have killed six Palestinians in just a few hours. They are firing from Apache Helicopters and from tanks. Forty-five people are injured. People are coming from throughout the Gaza Strip to try to help defend against the invasion. Shohada Al Aqsa has just issued a leaflet stating they destroyed an APC. Al Kassam has also just issued a leaflet that they are shooting at all Gaza Strip settlements and into a nearby Israeli town. Israeli bulldozers are plowing through the town that has little left standing to destroy, making 10 meter walls out of dirt. Tanks are shelling while kids run the other direction. Members of the armed resistance fire from single guns or hand held rockets at tanks and Apaches.
Presidential Advisor and Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaina told PNN reporter Rashid Hilal at noon today, "What is happening in Gaza right now just ensures that the Israelis are not ready to withdraw from Gaza as they said. But they are working on destroying all the efforts for the Road Map. The Palestinian leadership will go back again to the Security Council to discuss the Israeli operations and assassinations against Palestinians."
Palestinian medical sources in the northern Gaza Strip reported eight Palestinians injured this morning at 7 when Israeli Apaches fired missiles into a crowd of residents of Beit Lahia. The Israeli Apaches fired missiles next to the Education Ministry Building of the besieged northern Gaza Strip town. A crowd of people had gathered in the street. Two of the injured were in critical condition, but died as of 9:16 this morning. As of 9:52, the Israeli military killed two more Palestinians. As of 10:22, 45 people are injured. At 10:30, the Israeli military killed another Palestinian, and just after 11 another, bringing the total to six since this morning’s invasion began.
The Israeli military invaded Beit Lahia early this morning after killing five Palestinians in neighboring Beit Hanoun yesterday. Over 30 tanks, bulldozers, jeeps and Apaches invaded the town. Israeli soldiers broke into, and have taken over, the Education Building, using it as a sniper tower from where they are shooting randomly. Eyewitnesses report tanks and Apaches firing randomly at different times into homes and crowds of people who have run from their houses in a futile effort to escape the invasion.
The Israeli military have been attacking this area, uprooting its agricultural economic mainstays, rendering thousands of people homeless, leaving the once-fertile and lush area looking like a desert, for more than two years.
This morning the Israeli military bulldozed the main roads to Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun. Eyewitnesses describe a huge number of tanks, bulldozers, APCs, and jeeps lining the northern Gaza Strip roads. Local sources report that many residents do not expect to live through the day.