On the morning of the first day of Israeli bombing of Gaza, 'Abd a-Shaf'i was arrested by police on suspicion of selling cigarettes on the street. A short while later, Israel bombed the police station, killing a-Shaf'i.
Various reports indicate that the Israeli army is using phosphorous in the Gaza Strip. This weapon causes severe burns and is capable of igniting fires. Its use in a crowded area such as the Gaza Strip is illegal.
An army investigation has concluded that the harm caused to civilians in the UNRWA school bombing on 4 Jan. resulted from the use of an imprecise weapon. B'Tselem demands that the army prohibit use of this weapon in the Gaza Strip.
Gaza: at least 870 killed, of them at least 230 children and 93 women. Over 3,600 injured, of them over 400 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 7 soldiers killed. Over 78 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 60 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition.
On the first day of the attack on Gaza, Khaled al-Astal rode his bike to see a place that had been bombed. As he drew near, more missiles were fired into the crowd that had gathered, killing him instantly.
In the last few hours, B'Tselem learned of civilians who are trapped in several places in the Gaza Strip, all under the army's control. B'Tselem demands that the army immediately allow ambulances to evacuate the dead and wounded and to enable civilians to be freed from areas under its control.
On 4 Jan., when the Israeli army began shelling a residential area in central Gaza, the Sukar family fled their home and took nothing with them. They are now taking shelter in an UNRWA school, under harsh conditions.
The al-'Ayadi family lives in an agricultural area in which a number of families reside. When the hostilities began, the family gathered in one house. On Saturday night, the house was shelled. Since then, the family, eight of whom were lightly injured in the shelling, has been staying in a structure in the yard.
On 28 December, eight members of the 'Abasi family, fearing the bombing, went to sleep in the same room. The father, Iyad al-'Abasi, awoke in the hospital, where he learned that three of his children -Sidqi, 5, Muhammad, 10, and Ahmad, 11 - had been killed in a bombing as they slept.
On 1 January, the residential area in which the Abu al-Haj family lives, in al-Maghraqeh, Gaza Strip, was bombed. The family fled from their home, taking nothing with them, and found refuge in a school in the Nuseirat refugee camp.