Gaza: Morgues running out of room
IDF expresses satisfaction over results of Operation Autumn Clouds, which went into its fifth say Sunday. Some 46 Palestinians killed so far, including many Qassam cell members. Meanwhile, Beit Hanoun residents report of civilian casualties, but army says only three civilians hurt
Meanwhile, sources in Gaza said that 46 Palestinians have been killed since Wednesday, 11 of them on Saturday. Military sources claimed, however, that the Palestinians' descriptions of civilian casualties were exaggerated, adding that in some cases civilians were used as human shields.
Since the operation started, the army said, only three civilians were hurt. Gaza sources reported that a 15 year-old Palestinian girl was killed Saturday, purportedly by an IDF sniper in the area.
Beit Hanoun residents reported of a severe humanitarian crisis in town, including problems in the electricity supply, and sewage flooding the streets. They also said that they were unable to bury their dead, and that the morgues as the hospitals were running out of room.
Beit Hanoun: Injured evacuated to hospital (Photo: Reuters)
Saed Juda from the neighboring town of Beit Lahiya told the Reuters news agency that nine bodies have been delivered to his morgue so far. "I'm afraid that we're going to run out of room. If more people die, we will have to come up with a solution."
'Gunmen dressed up as women'Meanwhile, army sources claimed that Beit Hanoun residents were allowed to acquire foodstuffs and receive humanitarian supplies sent by international aid groups. The IDF lifted the closure imposed on the town for four hours in a bid to allow the locals to stock up on basic products.
A senior Southern Command official said that "the operation caught the Palestinians off guard, and now they are trying to enhance the damage to people not involved in terror. We know of three civilians that were hurt thus far, including a woman, a girl, and a 45-year-old man who were hit in the course of an attempt of wanted suspects to flee a mosque where they were holed up. Some dressed up as women, knowing full well we will not perform security checks on them, and in that way they will be able to disappear in the crowd."
A senior IDF officer said that the operation had severely damaged Hamas' Qassam-launching infrastructure in northern Gaza, particularly in the areas of production and transportation.
Palestinians: IDF interrogated thousands of residentsThe timing of the operation at this point in time, said the senior officer, is due to Hamas' establishment of its terror infrastructure and defense mechanisms in the area, along with increased Qassam rocket fire towards Israel.
The Gaza Division under Brigadier General Moshe Tamir, has expressed its satisfaction of the operation's outcome so far in which some 30 terror operatives were apprehended and caches of ammunitions and weapons uncovered. As of now, the forces are continuing to scour the area inside Palestinian territory after eliminating pockets of resistance.
Palestinians said that some 4,000 men had have taken for interrogation in a school in the area.
Ali Waked contributed to the report