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Shuja'iyya Incident (2014)

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300px|thumbnail|Snapshot taken in Shuja'iyya

The Shuja'iyya Incident or Shuja'iyya massacreTemplate:Better source,[1][2][3] was a battle between Israeli forces and Hamas militants which took place on 20 July 2014 in Wikipedia:Shuja'iyya, a neighborhood in Wikipedia:Gaza City. Israeli bombs and artillery shells killed at least 65 Palestinians and wounded around 288 others. Among the dead were at least 17 children, 14 women and 4 elderly Palestinian civilians. Hamas militants killed 13 Israeli soldiers.

On Wednesday 16 July, Israeli forces used leaflets, phone calls, and text messages instructing residents in the Zeitoun and Shujai'iya areas of Gaza city, to evacuate ahead of planned strikes.[4]On Thursday Israel began what it thought of as a limited operation, involving the Nahal, Paratrooper and Givati brigades, in the Shuja’iyya area’s sparsely populated eastern periphery,[5] intent on uncovering Hamas’s tunnel system. In the face of stiff resistance over the following two days, the probing advance developed into a full-scale onslaught on Shuja’iyya and the surrounding areas, as the IDF suffered upwards of 56 casualties.[6] In Ben White's reconstruction of the background,[7] the day after flyers were dropped, Wikipedia:Yedioth Ahronoth's military analyst, Alex Fishman noted that an order had been given to the tank units advancing the assault "to open fire at anything that moved,"[8] and a military spokesman declared that Israel was "taking off the gloves" in Shuja'iyyah.[6] On Saturday night, the Golani brigade was sent in with armoured battalions into the densely populated heart of Shuja’iyya, and suffered heavy casualties.[5] and only then did Israel decide to increase the intensity of its firepower, resulting in the steep rise in Palestinian civilian casualties, as commanders envisaged a repeat of Dahiya tactics used in Wikipedia:Dahieh, were resistance to continue.[5][7] A local Gazan woman, returning to the ruins of her home in the neighbourhood, made the same comparison.[9]

Shuja'iyya is a densely populated area of the city with 92,000 residents, and according to Wikipedia:Amnesty International, all Wikipedia:UNRWA shelter facilities were overflowing and the residents had nowhere to go.[10]On Sunday, 20 July, Israeli forces made an incursion, beginning after midnight, into Shuja'iyya, stating that over 140 rockets had been fired at Israel from the neighborhood since 8 July.[11][12] A 7-hour battle ensued as IDF forces were met with resistance from Hamas fighters,[13] armed with anti-tank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, and automatic weapons.[14]

Israeli military sources told Wikipedia:Haaretz and Wikipedia:The Jerusalem Post that IDF soldiers were under such heavy fire that commanders ordered the troops into their protected Wikipedia:Namer Wikipedia:armored personnel carriers and then called in artillery strikes within 100 meters of IDF positions, closer than the 250 meters normally considered safe.[15][16] An IDF officer told Haaretz that troops “were taking fire from all sides and they couldn’t neutralize the threat with all the firepower we gave them”, leading the IDF to use its artillery, a decision Haaretz described as "extremely risky" and "unusual".[15] About 600 shells were fired by several artillery battalions as Israel Air Force planes bombed from above.[15] The IAF dropped about 100 one-ton bombs about 250 meters away from IDF ground troops the following day in a broad aerial attack.[15] The IDF sources reported that the tactics used prevented significant additional Israeli casualties and that the battle resulted in the IDF changing the rules of engagement to allow the use of artillery in urban areas.[15]

Several residential blocks were extensively shelled destroying dozens of houses.[17] Palestinians attempting to flee the area described the scene as a "massacre", as did the Palestinian President, Wikipedia:Mahmoud Abbas.[3][17] Hundreds of civilians were injured during the unpredictable combination of artillery shelling and airstrikes overnight and only began to leave the area at dawn. Two paramedics died during attempts to enter the area and assist the wounded, and Wikipedia:Médecins Sans Frontières complained that its post-operative clinic in Gaza City was running at 10 to 30 percent of capacity due to the intensity of the bombing, which hindered patients from reaching the centre.[18]

Hamas claimed to have captured an IDF soldier they identified as Aron Shaul during the fighting on Sunday. IDF later confirmed that the body of one of the seven soldiers in the armored vehicle is not yet identified, and the name was Wikipedia:Oron Shaul.[19][20]


At least 65 Palestinians were killed according to Shifa hospital's director, Naser Tattar.[21][17] The United Nations's of Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People put the estimate at over 70 Palestinian dead.[22] At least 17 children, 14 women and 4 elderly were killed during the incident, while 288 Palestinians were wounded.[17][23] Other reports claim 120 Palestinians killed, one third women and children.[24]

13 IDF soldiers were killed, including two Americans serving in Israel. Seven of the IDF soldiers were killed as their armored vehicle was hit by an anti-tank rocket[21] or Wikipedia:Improvised explosive device,[14] three were killed in clashes with militants, and three were trapped in a burning house.[14] In the following 24 hours, 3 additional IDF soldiers were killed in Shuja'iyya.[25]

Official reactionsEdit

Involved parties

Template:Flagu: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the military actions that resulted in the deaths, maintaining that Hamas was using the area to launch attacks against Israel. Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for their own deaths, "We asked in every way for the civilian population to leave, Hamas told them not to so they could be used as human shields." he said[26]

Template:PSE: The Palestinian government condemned the attack as a "massacre" and declared three days of mourning.[27] The newly-inaugurated Palestinian government described the attack as a "war crime" which required immediate international intervention. "The Palestinian consensus government condemned in the strongest terms the heinous massacre committed by the Israeli occupation forces against innocent Palestinian civilians in the neighbourhood of Shuja'iyya," it said.[28]


Template:Flagu: "The Iranian government and nation, as in the past, will stand by the proud Palestinian people and their brave resistance and will not be silent in the face of the brutal crimes by the Zionists," Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Wikipedia:Marzieh Afkham said on Sunday. She added that Muslim and freedom-seeking nations in the world would undoubtedly give an “unforgettable lesson” to the Israeli regime on Friday's Wikipedia:International Quds Day in support of the Palestinian resistance against Israel.[29]

Template:Flagu: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told reporters: "We mourn the death of every single innocent civilian. I think you can just conclude that there’s one group that is fully and entirely responsible for this tragedy. And it is Hamas. They are responsible and they can stop this at any moment."[30]


Template:Flagu: Secretary General Wikipedia:Nabil al-Arabi called for an immediate cessation to the Israeli "barbarous ground incursion" in Gaza in addition to the ongoing bombardment across Gaza. He called to provide the necessary protection to the Palestinian civilians, holding Israel fully responsible for what he described as a "hideous crime."[31]

Template:Flagu: Secretary General Wikipedia:Ban Ki-moon called the attack on Shejaiya “an atrocious action.”[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. 'A real massacre': Norwegian doctor at Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital during bombardment, Zeinab El-Gundy, 20 July 2014, Ahram
  2. Template:Cite news
  3. 3.0 3.1 Template:Cite news
  4. "Israeli air strikes target Hamas leaders as ceasefire fails". The Guardian. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Amos Harel ‘As casualties mounted, the Gaza operation threatens to become a war,’ Wikipedia:Haaretz, July 21
  6. 6.0 6.1 Anshel Pfeffer, 'In Gaza, a war of two narratives,' Wikipedia:Haaretz 22 July 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 'Premeditated murder: the Shuja'iyya massacre and Israeli criminality,' Middle East Monitor, 22 July 2014.
  8. Harriet Sherwood, Peter Beaumont, Ian Black, 'Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll reaches 274 amid fierce fighting,' Wikipedia:The Guardian 18 July 2014.
  9. Daniel Siryoti and Lilach Shoval,'Shujaiyya has turned into Dahiye,' Wikipedia:Israel Hayom, 27 July 2014.:'On Saturday, residents tried to salvage what they could from destroyed buildings. "Shujaiyya has turned to Dahiye. Where will return to? We had house with more than 20 family members in it. The house was completely destroyed," one Shujaiyya resident said.'
  10. 'Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations,' Wikipedia:Amnesty International 21 July 2014.
  11. Prime Minister's office information from IDF
  12. "Israeli 'massacre' in Gaza City". Ma'an News Agency. 20 July 2014. 
  13. "Israeli soldiers killed after battle in Gaza City suburb". The Guardian. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Template:Cite news
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Template:Cite news
  16. Template:Cite news
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Wikipedia:Reuters, 'More than 65 killed in Israeli shelling in Gaza City,' Wikipedia:Ynet 20 July 2014.
  18. 'Gaza Strip: Israel must stop bombing trapped civilians,' Wikipedia:Médecins Sans Frontières 21 July 2014.
  19. "Israel hits hundreds of targets in Gaza as soldier is confirmed missing". The Guardian. 
  20. "Israel says soldier missing, presumed dead; Kerry presses for truce". Reuters. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Americans From Texas, California Killed in Gaza
  22. 'Bureau of Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People strongly condemns ongoing Israeli military operation in Gaza,' General Assembly GA/PAL/1311, 21 July 2014.
  23. '10 Human Rights Organizations in an Urgent Letter to Attorney General: Concerns Regarding Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the IDF's Operations in Gaza,' Wikipedia:B'tselem 21 July 2014.
  26. Template:Cite news
  27. Template:Cite news
  28. Template:Cite news
  29. Template:Cite news
  31. Template:Cite news

External linksEdit

Template:2014 Israel–Gaza conflict

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