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10 killed in Gaza, dozens injured in series of strikes

Ma'an news

8gaza60_345x230.jpg

April 8, 2011

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- For the fourth and fifth times on Friday, Israeli forces hit the Gaza Strip, killing a mother and child, and an elderly man in two separate strikes near Khan Younis. Ten have been killed since Thursday afternoon.

A sixth strike hit the Rafah tunnels area at three o'clock with none reported injured.

In Khan Younis, shortly after 2:00 p.m. the strike hit the Faraheen area killing a mother and daughter, injuring a second daughter and three others. A strike half an hour earlier killed an elderly man in the Qarara area of the city, medics said.

A statement from Israel's military confirmed the two attacks, and acknowledged civilian casualties, adding that the military "regrets that the Hamas terrorist organization chooses to operate from within its civilian population, using it as a 'human shield'."

The bombings were said to have been in retaliation for the launching of a projectile from the Gaza Strip, which hit a school bus in southern Israel, injuring two people on Thursday. The strike was claimed by Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades.

The military also reported "heavy rocket and mortar fire," emanating from Gaza Friday afternoon. A later statement said a total of five mortars and eight projectiles had been fired from Gaza on Friday.

DFLP fighters claimed to have fired two projectiles at targets from the northern Gaza Strip. A statement said the fire was a "response to Israelĺs lack of commitment to the truce [and its] continuing of shelling of our unarmed people."

Thursday afternoon strikes hit a home east of Gaza City, killing one, and late at night four others were killed in strikes across the Strip.

A Thursday move from Hamas to prevent further Israeli strikes appears to have gone unaccepted, after the party said it had gotten most armed Palestinian factions in Gaza to sign on to a ceasefire pledge.

It was not immediately clear whether the air strikes had signaled an end to the truce, or whether the firing of rockets was carried out by a recalcitrant group who had not signed up to the ceasefire.

Friday attacks have been reported as follows:

3:00 p.m. Air strikes hit a smuggling tunnel between Egypt and Gaza. No injuries were reported, but witnesses said a large fire broke out in the area following the blast.

2:00 p.m. Israeli artillery fire hits the Al-Farahin area east of Khan Younis. A mother and child were killed and another of her children injured.

Israeli media reported shortly before the strike that five projectiles launched from Gaza landed near Ashkelon, with no injuries.

Medics later confirmed that Najah Kudeih, 45, and her daughter Nidal, 21, were killed, while a second daughter, Nida, 18, was seriously injured. Three others were wounded.

1:30 p.m. A 55-year-old man was killed by an Israeli air strike which hit in the Qarara area east of the city. Medics identified the man as Talal Abu Taha, 55.

9:45 a.m. An airstrike combined with artillery hit the town of Khuza'a, east of Khan Younis, killing two.

Israel's military said in a statement that "forces identified two terrorist squads from the Hamas terrorist organization," adding that air and artillery fire were used and the military "identified hits."

Hamas' military wing, the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, named those killed as Abdallah Al-Qarra and Muataz Abu Jamea.

8:00 a.m. An Israeli strike hit in an open area east of Rafah, no injuries were reported.

7:00 a.m. Israeli shelling on Rafah airport in southern Gaza injured three, witnesses reported.

Thursday strikes kill five

Air strikes hit what was described by the Israeli military as positions in and around Gaza City where projectiles had been fired from on Thursday, and other raids hit targets in the southern cities of Rafah and Khan Younis.

The strikes killed four, identified as resistance fighters affiliated with Hamas. A statement from the Al-Qassam Brigades identified those killed as leader Salah Tarabin, 38, Musab al-Sufi, 18, Muhammad Almanmom, 25, and Khaled Aldbari, 23.

Thursday afternoon, Artillery fire also hit the southern Gaza Strip, with witnesses saying artillery fire injured five people, including a small child, and killed Mahmoud Al-Manasra, 50, who died after shells landed near his home in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

In total, more than 40 people were wounded across the Gaza Strip overnight.


:: Article nr. 76644 sent on 08-apr-2011 16:11 ECT

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