Gaza casualty
Photo: AP

UN: 25% of those killed in Gaza civilians

UNRWA spokesman says at least a quarter of Palestinians killed in Israeli air strikes civilians, adding number 'may well be far higher'

At least 25% of Palestinians killed during Israel's massive offensive in the Gaza Strip have been civilians, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said on Wednesday.


"A minimum of 25% of all those killed are civilians and it may well be far higher," UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness told AFP.


Since the start of the Israeli offensive on Saturday at least 390 Palestinians have been killed and another 1,900 wounded, according to Gaza medics. At least 42 of those killed have been children, they say.


Israeli warplanes continued to unload bombs on targets in Gaza early Wednesday. Powerful airstrikes caused Gaza City's high-rise apartment buildings to sway and showered streets with broken glass and pulverized concrete. Israel's ground forces on Gaza's border also used artillery for the first time.


The Air Force pounded smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, setting off a huge explosion in a fuel tunnel, witnesses said, as other aircraft hit Hamas positions in Gaza City. No casualties were reported.


A Palestinian medic was killed and two others wounded when an Israeli missile struck next to their ambulance during a clash east of Gaza City, Palestinians said. The Israeli military said it did not know of the incident.


Hamas kept up its rocket barrages, which have killed four Israelis since the weekend, and sent many more in running for bomb shelters - some of them in cities under threat of attack for the first time, as the range of the rockets grows. 


פרסום ראשון: 12.31.08, 13:28
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