MAP extremely concerned about Gaza escalation

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is extremely concerned about the current escalation in Gaza, which began on Friday.

Israeli airstrikes, and shelling by tanks and the navy are ongoing in Rafah, Khan Younis, the middle areas, east and west Gaza, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya.

Fikr Shalltoot, MAP’s Programme Director in Gaza described the situation this morning after a night of continuous strikes:

“The situation in Gaza is still tough, the airstrikes, tank shelling and firing by the navy are ongoing without stopping. I believe that the majority of the two million Palestinians living in Gaza will have had no sleep last night. The targets of the strikes indicate that there is no safe place in Gaza. A number of residential buildings were knocked down as well as individual houses in addition to military positions and security places.”

The Ministry of Health in Gaza have reported 7 Palestinians killed – including a pregnant mother and her 14-month-old daughter – and 47 injured so far. Two Israelis have been reported killed and four injured by projectiles fired from Gaza that were not intercepted by Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ system.

Egyptian efforts to secure a ceasefire are ongoing, but no progress has been reported as yet. 

Last night, two of MAP’s staff members had to relocate from their buildings for safety. Their apartment windows were destroyed by the force of the blast when the building next to theirs was targeted by Israeli forces.

Further casualties have been reported this morning amid continuing attacks in both directions. Ominously, Israel has mobilised an armoured brigade  and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly ordered "massive strikes" on Gaza.

In addition to the physical damage, the psychological toll of the airstrikes continuing across Gaza is profound for a population living for so many years under blockade and frequent threat of military attack.