Chaos in Gaza as Israel's strikes continue

Terrified prisoners fled a Gaza City jail bombed by Israeli warplanes on Sunday, their faces white with dust and red with blood as they stumbled over huge piles of rubble, the HeraldTribune reported.

Across the territory, grieving families pitched traditional mourning tents of green tarp outside the homes. Yet the rows of chairs inside these tents remained largely empty, as residents cowered indoors for fear of new Israeli strikes. Plumes of gray smoke rising into the sky marked the site of the latest Israeli attacks.

Even for war-weary Gazans, who've lived through countless Israeli incursions, air attacks and months of bitter Palestinian infighting, the bloody weekend was unusually traumatic.

In all, more than 290 people - most of them Hamas policemen, but also 20 children - were killed in some 300 Israeli air attacks over two days.

On Saturday, shortly after Israel unleashed the deadliest-ever offensive against Hamas and its rocket squads, hospital morgues quickly overflowed. In the initial chaos, the dead were wrapped in blankets and lined up on the ground, as frantic relatives searched for their loved ones.

On Sunday, 25 unclaimed bodies still lay in the morgue of Gaza's largest hospital, Shifa, their faces disfigured beyond identification. In the southern town of Rafah, residents held a mass funeral for 14 people, including two brothers, and a father and son, all of them members of the Hamas security forces.

The shelling began at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, just as children returned home from school, women shopped in local markets and police directed traffic.

At that moment, Israeli warplanes unleashed scores of bombs and missiles simultaneously at Hamas security installations. Residents described a veil of dust, smoke and rubble covering one world, and lifting to reveal another filled with horror. Women were running, carrying their children, uniformed students screamed and cars crashing into each other as panicked drivers tried to get away.

The dead and wounded were rushed to hospitals in cars. Some carried blankets filled with body parts. "I have a head here," one man yelled as he rushed into the crowded reception area of Shifa Hospital.

Police directed them to go to the hospital morgue, opposite the maternity ward, but it was already full by Saturday afternoon. One dead woman lay on the floor, her face covered in blood and wore an embroidered peasant's robe. Men searching for relatives smacked their heads against the floor in grief and helplessness.

Inside Shifa, some of the floors were slick with blood. Wounded people sat in corridors, shooing away doctors, telling them to treat more urgent cases first.

Israeli strikes hit a new series of targets on Sunday: a fuel tanker, a Hamas television station, smuggling tunnels and a central prison in a main Hamas security compound.

The bombing of the prison set free dozens of prisoners, who rushed out from their cells, carrying bags of clothes and blankets with them as they scrambled over rubble, fleeing Hamas police.

One man remained pinned under the rubble, his face smeared partly in white dust, partly in blood, shouting: "Wait for me! Pull me out!"

Miles away, on Gaza's southern border with Egypt, the ground shook on Sunday afternoon. In a matter of four minutes, Israeli aircraft destroyed 40 smuggling tunnels running under the border.

Area resident Fida Kishta rushed to the border once the smoke cleared - and she wasn't alone.

Hundreds gathered at the border wall, trying to get across. Egyptian border guards opened fire above the crowds, trying to scatter them. Instead, residents manned a bulldozer and tried to knock down the wall.

When that didn't work, they set an explosive device beside it, knocking what Kishta said appeared to be a small hole. Dozens of defiant Gazans clambered over it, but were eventually returned to Gaza.

At times, shock turned into confusion and denial.

A medic called his friends abroad, asking if anybody had seen his sister who initially was missing in air strikes. A news photographer who found his friend under the rubble drove him home, unwilling to believe he was dead.

"My children are wetting the bed, they cry when they hear planes," said Amal Hassan, 38, a mother of three children. "I don't know what's going to happen next. Maybe the next bomb will fall here, maybe the next person killed will be one of us," Hassan said.

Red Cross representatives visit Dilgam Asgarov, Shahbaz Guliyev
Red Cross representatives visit Dilgam Asgarov, Shahbaz Guliyev
Int'l community must stop terror carried out by Armenia against Azerbaijan - Lebanese lawyer
Int'l community must stop terror carried out by Armenia against Azerbaijan - Lebanese lawyer
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 33 times
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 33 times
Loading Bars
Latest
France's Macron says U.S. maximum pressure on Iran not working
Israeli PM, Bahraini crown prince discuss cooperation over phone
Audit services in Azerbaijan improving step by step
Mayor urges holidaymakers to 'stay permanently' amid population boom in Bodrum
Iran purchases additional wheat from farmers
Turkish president makes phone call to Azerbaijani president
President of Uzbekistan to deliver speech at 75th UN GA session
28 Kazakhstanis died from COVID-19 on Sep 14-20
Valentina Matviyenko: Azerbaijan has been and remains strategic partner for Russia
U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 200,000 -- Johns Hopkins University
MP: Azerbaijan to give worthy response to any provocations of Armenia
Azerbaijani finance ministry’s securities in great demand
Cargo transportation volume through "Middle Corridor" by late 2020 disclosed
China's exports of flat-rolled products of non-alloy steel to Georgia down
Georgian expert: Azerbaijan harmoniously combines three world religions
Geostat reveals volume of Russian export to Georgia
Speaker of Azerbaijani parliament meets chairperson of Federation Council of Russian Federal Assembly (PHOTO)
Georgia reveals volume of processed grapes by regions
Georgia reveals export statistics of major goods to Russia
Israeli city vice-mayor: Azerbaijan highly appreciates tolerance
Baku Port: New transport corridors of Caspian Sea increases Middle Corridor's role
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale September 23
French Development Agency to fund construction of Uzbek hydropower plants
Review of Georgian exports to China
Red Cross representatives visit Dilgam Asgarov, Shahbaz Guliyev
Turkish president: Armenia - biggest obstacle to peace in South Caucasus
Kazakhstan to greatly increase level of automation of public services
Azerbaijan's AzInTelecom supports creation of new mobile app
Purchase of wheat in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Province completed
Uzbekistan permits flights for Abu Dhabi low-cost airline
Georgian company AgroKartli expect to increase apple crop
New ambassador of Netherlands to Azerbaijan arrives in Baku
Azerbaijan eyes to open two more DOST Centers till late 2020
Azerbaijan's ADY Express reveals cargo handling volumes via BTK railway
Georgian Railway sees increase in cargo transportation
Germany increases export volumes to Kazakhstan despite COVID-19
Industrial production to be increased in Uzbek regions
Uzbekistan boosts import of grain, legumes from Turkey
Azerbaijani First VP Mehriban Aliyeva attends opening of new kindergarten (PHOTO)
ADIF discloses amount of сompensations made to clients of closed banks
Kazakhstan Air Astana to resume direct flights to Russia
IRI's International Assessment Team Arrives Ahead of Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections
Iran’s NISOC can increase extraction coefficient
Kazakhstan's progress on cereals and legumes harvesting revealed as of Sept.22
Bahar Azadi gold coin price climbs
Azercosmos begins cooperation with ViewMedia
National Bank of Georgia to sell funds at foreign exchange auction
COVID-19 pandemic negatively affects Georgian Sarajishvili's company
Ceramic plant being prepared to launch in Turkmenistan’s Lebap region
Iran Customs Administration to facilitate release of imported goods
Azerbaijan to upgrade local hydrological networks
Construction of new apartments across Iran's towns going full speed
Int'l community must stop terror carried out by Armenia against Azerbaijan - Lebanese lawyer
Review of Georgian livestock export to Azerbaijan
More Kazakh citizens sent back home from Azerbaijan by sea
Azerbaijani First VP Mehriban Aliyeva attends opening of new building of Children’s Art School in Bulbula settlement (PHOTO)
Georgia plans to create low-cost airline
Volume of cotton fiber exports from Azerbaijan revealed
Turkmengas to purchase chemical products via tender
Iran discloses number of small mines restored
Uzbekistan considers joining research of vaccine for COVID-19
Iran increases amount of foreign currency assigned to importers
Siemens sees market value of energy spin-off above $20 billion
Produce in Georgia agency to begin accepting applications for its Micro and Small Business Support Program
Uzbekistan increases electric cars import
Iran’s Khouzestan Steel Company reaches new production level record
“Protect the Caspian Sea” with support of Bakcell and its partners (PHOTO)
Updates on Uzbekistan’s nuclear progress
EY Azerbaijan officially announces the start of the ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™’ 2020-2021 competition
Subsidiary of KazMunayGas to buy diesel fuel via tender
Cement imports by US from Turkey slightly up amid COVID-19 pandemic
IMF: Economic growth in Uzbekistan to be positive due to growth in construction sector
Azerbaijan's CBA discloses amount of foreign currency bought by local banks
Russia lowers import of Turkish clothes
Geostat reveals volume of citrus fruits exported by Georgia to Azerbaijan
Romanian WEVO company implementing state projects in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
WTL ready to implement new project in Turkmenistan
Review of Georgian corn export to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has right to liberate its lands by military means - Turkish general
Azerbaijan confirms 113 more COVID-19 recoveries
Value of exports from Iran's Maragheh County revealed
Georgian corn oil to enter local market
ROMGAZ moves towards becoming active player on natural gas distribution market
Azerbaijan's Energy Ministry reveals data on gas production, export
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for September 22
Youth Union of New Azerbaijan Party issues appeal regarding Armenian provocation
PACE rapporteurs welcome decision to release Tofig Yagublu to house arrest
Oil rises on expectations demand can survive new lockdowns
Azerbaijan reveals oil production, export figures for ACG, Shah Deniz field
Electricity potential of Iran's thermal power plants up
Demand for Turkish electrical goods in China down
Turkmenistan, France's MEDEF considering priorities for infrastructure dev't in country
Greece plans to properly exploit fact of receiving natural gas from Azerbaijan
Iran inaugurates new healthcare centers
Kazakhstan's postal service operator to buy spares via tender
Documents on archiving pension files to be in e-format in Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan, France trade down twofold amid COVID-19
Iran’s Tehran Oil Refining Company to boost its capital
Microsoft Azerbaijan talks about cybersecurity within country
Azerbaijani president congratulates King of Saudi Arabia
All news