The BBC said it received claims that Israeli troops have fired on Gaza residents trying to escape the conflict area.
It also said that its journalists “in Gaza and Israel” have compiled detailed accounts of the claims.
One testimony, BBC said, describes Israeli forces shooting a woman in the head after she stepped out of her house carrying a piece of white cloth, in response to an Israeli loudhailer announcement. Munir Shafik al-Najar, of Khouza village in the south-east of the Gaza Strip, told BBC that some 75 members of his extended family had ended up huddled in a house, surrounded by Israeli forces, after troops shelled the area and destroyed his brother's home on Sunday night.
On Monday morning, “the Israeli army was saying: 'This is the Israeli Defence Forces, we are asking all the people to leave their homes and go to the school. Ladies first, then men.' We decided to send the women first, two by two," he said. First to step outside was the wife of his cousin, Rawhiya al-Najar, 48. They shot her in the head," he said.
The Israeli military has dismissed the report as "without foundation,” according to the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The BBC said it also spoke to Marwan Abu Rida, a paramedic with the Palestinian Red Crescent, who says he was called to the site at 0810 local time (0610 GMT). But he says he came under fire as he tried to reach it, and was trapped in a house nearby until 2000 (1800 GMT) because of Israeli shooting.
He said that when he reached the location he found the dead woman, Rawhiya, who appeared to have been shot in the head, as well as the younger woman who was injured.
Thursday, 15 January 2009
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