Friday, August 19, 2011

Israeli Air Strike Kills Boy in Northern Gaza

GAZA, August 19, 2011 (WAFA) – An early Friday morning Israeli air strike on northern Gaza left one Palestinian boy dead and 17 others injured, according to medical reports.

This brings to seven the total number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours in several Israeli air strikes that came in retaliation to a Thursday attack in southern Israel that left eight Israelis dead and dozens wounded.

Medical sources in Gaza said Mahmoud Atef Abu Samra, 13, was killed when a missile fired by an Israeli jet hit his house in Sudanieh neighborhood of Gaza City. A total of 17 other people were also injured, mainly women and children.

Israel carried out a series of air raids, estimated at over seven, targeting tunnels in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, and a number of Hamas training grounds in northern Gaza.

One attack at a house on Thursday in Rafah killed six people, including two-year-old Malek Khaled Shaath, whose father was also killed in the raid. The others included the top leader of the Salah Eddin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, Kamal Nairab and his deputy.

Reports said a Palestinian was declared missing in raids at Rafah tunnels. Rescue workers and residents were digging through the rubble searching for the missing Palestinian, said the reports.

In retaliation, Palestinians fired grad and mortar missiles from Gaza into southern Israel, injuring 10 Israelis, including two reported in serious condition, said Israeli reports.

The Salah Eddin Brigades said they will respond to the Israeli strike that killed their leader, vowing to hit hard at Israel.

The Israeli escalation was condemned by Palestinian officials, who said Israel was trying to take the region back into the cycle of violence in an attempt to get out of its political isolation and to undermine Palestinian plans to seek United Nations recognition in September.

Hamas, whom Israel held responsible for the attack on southern Israel, denied any responsibility and said it was still abiding by a calm that has prevailed in the area for months.