Gaza – Ma'an – Israeli artillery fire killed 15 Palestinians, including Husam Zahhar, the son of senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar, while shelling the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, witnesses and medics said.An estimated 45 other Palestinians have been injured.
Eyewitnesses said that at least numerous Palestinian activists have been injured by the shelling as Israeli tanks and armored vehicles slowly pushed towards the eastern Gaza City neighborhoods of Ash-Shuja'iyya and Zeitoun.
Palestinian medics at Ash-Shifa hospital identified some of the dead as Rami Farahat, Ahid Ashur, Muhamad Abu Laban Badwan Auda, Khalil Mudallal and Mustafa Salim .
The eyewitnesses said also that Israeli bulldozers destroyed farmers' groves in the area.Separately, witnesses said that Israeli military vehicles invaded the industrial zone near the Erez border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
Zahhar reactsMahmoud Zahhar is one of Hamas' founders and served as Palestinan foreign minister from 2006 to 2007. In September 2003, Zahhar's other son Khaled was killed in an Israeli airstrike that completely destroyed Zahhar's home in Zeitoun.
"This is one of the results of the Bush visit. He encouraged the Israelis to kill our people," Zahhar told reporters."What is going on in Gaza today is a shame for all of those who cooperated with [US President George W.] Bush, the criminal, and with the Zionists," Zahar said. "I am talking about all kings, presidents and ministers," he said, in an apparent criticism of Arab leaders who met with Bush. "We are telling them, today they are killing our sons, tomorrow they are going to kill yours."