Israel bombs homes in central Gaza, killing several families

MONITORING (SW) – As Israel’s aggression expands in the central Gaza Strip, civilian casualties are mounting amid the bombardment of residential homes in Deir el-Balah and the al-Zawaida refugee camp.

At least 15 civilians were killed in Israeli air attacks on houses sheltering four families on Thursday night. Dozens were injured and others remained under the rubble.

Sumayya Ahmed, an elderly woman who was in the residential building that came under attack in Deir el-Balah, told Al Jazeera that her family members were preparing to sleep when the attack occurred at about 10:30pm.

“My sister, her husband and children were all killed,” she said. “Many of the other children were stuck under furniture, screaming for help.”

“Beneath us are two other families, all gone. Everyone’s gone,” she added.

Medics were only able to pull out the bodies, and those wounded, in the morning. Ahmed said dozens were sheltering in the building, including relatives and friends displaced from the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood in the north.

“Our home there was destroyed. Our children were killed,” she said.

According to her, it was not the first time Israeli forces attack the vicinity of the building. Prior to Wednesday night’s attack, multiple air strikes had caused damage to the windows and parts of the kitchen, Ahmed said.

Relatives and people check the destruction in the aftermath of the bombing in central Gaza’s Deir el-Balah [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]
Many who were killed were internally displaced Palestinians who were forced to flee northern Gaza. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]
‘We’re exhausted. We were forced to leave our homes and yet our children were killed,’ Sumayya Ahmed, an elderly woman, said. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]
The attacks in Deir el-Balah took place in the night as families were trying to sleep. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]
Rescue workers are still looking for people under the rubble. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]
The residential block housed ‘children, elderly women, and people with special needs’, Mohammed al-Rawaf, a resident of the neighbourhood, said. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]
The attack on the al-Zawaida refugee camp took place on Wednesday night. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]
Rescue workers are still looking for people under the rubble. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]
Neighbours say they have resorted to using their bare hands to pull out the bodies of those under the rubble. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]