Palestinians appeal to UN on strikes

8-year-old dies of wounds, 13 wounded in IDF shelling in Gaza.

kassam launch 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
kassam launch 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The Palestinians called on the United Nations Security Council to take harsh steps against Israel following the death of an 8-year-old girl from IDF artillery fire in Beit Lahiya in the Gaza Strip. According to Army Radio, the Palestinian Authority's observer in the UN, Riad Mansour, said that "the international community cannot stand by while women, men and children are killed and wounded." Mansour added that Arab states were expected to meet soon to decide how to deal with IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip, including turning to the UNSC with a request to take on the issue. Artillery barrages on the northern Gaza Strip continued on Monday as an eight-year-old Palestinian girl was killed after a shell hit her home in the northern Gaza suburb of Beit Lahiya. Palestinian hospital officials said that 13 others, including the girl's pregnant mother, were wounded in the shelling. The IDF expressed regret over the girl's death and the wounding of civilians, but blamed terrorist groups continuing to fire Kassam rockets at Israel Samir Ghraben, one of the girl's relatives, said there were two explosions and children started screaming. "The scene was horrible. The children, who were either sitting or playing, were wounded. They were covered with blood and rubble," he said, calling it a "cold-blooded massacre" by Israel. Earlier in the day, three Kassams were fired at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip. One landed in an open field next to the Zikim military base south of Ashkelon and another landed in an open field in the western Negev. The third rocket landed in the Mediterranean Sea. In response, IDF artillery cannons pounded Kassam launch sites. "Rockets are one of the resistance tools," said Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for the Hamas government. "Our people have the right to resist the occupation. The occupation is the problem and as long as the problem exists our people have the right to resist." Meanwhile Monday, in line with the government's policy to cut off ties with the Palestinian Authority, the IDF shut down the Jericho District Coordination Office (DCO). Palestinian officials folded their flag, collected their belongings and left the offices. The decision was made following the government's resolution on Sunday to reinforce its measures against the new Hamas-led Palestinian government, declaring it a "hostile entity" and ruling out contacts, including talks with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. "It is important to note that all civilian functions of the civil administration will be unaffected by the change, which pertains to security coordination alone," the IDF released in a statement. A joint Israeli-Palestinian civil administration for the territories, the Jericho-based DCO was established following the signing of the Oslo Accords and represented one of the strongest links between Israel and the PA. The Jericho office was the last remaining remnant from the Oslo Accords and, in other PA-controlled cities, coordination between the IDF and the Palestinian security forces was done by phone. AP contributed to this report.