Meanwhile, overwhelmed hospital officials in Gaza said that of the more than 390 people killed by Israeli fighter planes since Saturday, 38 were children and 25 women. The United Nations, which has estimated the number of dead to be between 320 and 390, said 25 percent of those killed were civilians. Israel said that it was still checking the numbers.Children are, by definition, non-combatants, though the cutoff line isn't clear: is 16 a child? 17? By those ages, I'd say their actions begin to be more significant than their age. Women may well not be combatants, but the certainty they aren't is puzzling, since sometimes they are.
In the Jabalya Refugee Camp north of Gaza City, hundreds lined up for hours in the rain for bread and other staples as F-16 jets menaced overhead. At one point, two rockets were launched from within the camp — among about 60 shot into Israel on Wednesday — and an Israeli missile then hit the launcher.
The rockets that have been sent some 20 miles into the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beersheba in recent days are known as grads. They measure nine feet in length with warheads that weigh 30 to 40 pounds and were not manufactured in Gaza but were bought abroad and smuggled through tunnels from Egypt, Israeli officials said.
A senior Israeli official said the country was seeking ways to increase humanitarian aid so that its military endeavor could continue without further pressure to stop. It permitted a dozen wounded and ill Gazans into Israel on Wednesday for treatment at hospitals here and allowed in some 100 trucks of food and medicine.
He also said that one limitation on the aid was that crossing points had come under attack by Hamas. A second, he said, is that donors are not bringing enough goods. Of the donations so far, some come from United Nations agencies, but most are from private donors.
Tens of thousands of Gazans have received recorded phone calls from the Israeli Army warning them that their houses have been marked as targets because they harbored either militants or weapons facilities like rocket workshops. Noncombatants were urged to clear out. Hundreds of thousands of leaflets gave the same message.