Israel's gastly war on Gaza has now claimed over 110 lives as the IDF expanded its targets to include ones located in densly populated residential areas, virtually assuring heavy civilian death tolls.
Israel targets Gaza militants' homes, sending civilian death toll soaring amid frantic diplomacy
GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip and killed a senior militant with a missile strike on a media center Monday, driving up the Palestinian death toll to 96, as Israel broadened its targets in the 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel.
CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports that in one of the most densely populated places on the planet, civilian casualties are inevitably mounting.
Escalating its bombing campaign over the weekend, Israel began attacking homes of activists in Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza. These attacks have led to a sharp spike in civilian casualties, killing 24 civilians in just under two days and doubling the number of civilians killed in the conflict, a Gaza health official said.
Overall, the offensive that began Wednesday killed 96 Palestinians, including 50 civilians, and wounded some 720 people, Gaza heath official Ashraf al-Kidra said. Among the wounded were 225 children, he said.
Israel keeps up Gaza bombardment
Civilians killed and media centre hit for a second day as death toll in the Palestinian territory passes 100 mark.
Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip have continued for a sixth day, despite calls for a truce, with the overall death toll reaching 110, according to medical sources.
A media centre was targeted for a second time on Monday when Israeli fighter jets hit the Shuruq tower in Gaza City. The building houses Palestinian and international media outlets, including Britain's Sky News, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya and the official Hamas broadcaster, Al Aqsa TV.
One person was killed in the building. The Islamic Jihad group identified the victim as Ramez Harb and said he was a senior commander in its armed wing, the al-Quds Brigades.
On Sunday, the health ministry said eight journalists were injured when the Shuruq tower and another media building, used by local al-Quds TV, were hit.
In Brussels, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretary-general, expressed concern about the escalation in violence and urged Israel to show restraint in its defence against attacks from Gaza.
"Of course Israel has the right to self-defence, and attacks against Israel must end. But the international community would also expect Israel to show restraint," Rasmussen said.
In some of the latest violence, two boys, aged two and four, and their father were killed in Jabaliya refugee camp late in the evening. More than a dozen people were injured, mostly women and children.
During the afternoon, one person was killed and another two wounded when a missile struck a car just north of Gaza City.
Elsewhere, a missile hit a motorcycle east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, killing two men and critically wounding a child who was with them, Gaza's ambulance service said.
Early in the day, two women and a child were among four killed in a raid on Gaza City's eastern Zeitun neighbourhood.
The IDF's disregard for Palestinian civilians has been a long standing problem at least since Israel's unprovoked invasion of Lebanon in 2006. Its an ethic that seems to be deeply ingrained in the IDF's military cilture.
Professor Noam Chomsky is leading authority, and author of a number of books on the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
UPDATE: After questions were raised about the authenticity of the quote I origionally used, I have deleted it.
Hamas and other groups continue to launch rockets into Israel, reportedly including a number of decoys without warheads so they can fly father without their payload triggering more alarms deep inside Israel.
President Obama tried to bring Bibi to the peace tableto find a peaceful resolution to this conflict, but Bibi wanted to build settlements more than make peace. So Gaza was left to fester behind the blockade that imposes poverty and overcrowding on Gaza's 1.5 milliom residents.
Don't expect diplomacy to halt this punitive slaughter anytime soon. Israel's pattern during its other recent military adventures into Lebanon and Gaza is to rebuff all diplomacy until Israel's military operational plan has run its course.