Baby, pregnant mother killed as Israel strikes Gaza

Aug 10, 2018, 03:19
Baby, pregnant mother killed as Israel strikes Gaza

The strikes came after two rockets that were launched from the coastal enclave hit the town of Sderot, near Gaza's northern border, police and the army said.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA, citing health sources, reported at least 12 Palestinians were wounded.

Over the past four months, 163 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including at least 120 protesters, according to the Gaza Health Ministry and a local rights group.

The ministry said Enas was also pregnant.

The Israeli army said on Thursday morning that it had pounded more than 140 targets in Gaza belonging to the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement.

It was not clear if the escalation, the latest in a series of intense exchanges of fire in recent months, would derail the indirect negotiations between Israel and Gaza's Hamas militant rulers. The Israeli Air Force responded with more than 150 attacks on what it described as Hamas military targets.

An onlooker captured the incredible footage of Israel intercepting mod-air rocket from Gaza.

The military stressed that the "IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios and is determined to continue its mission to protect the citizens of Israel". A statement from the military wing of Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets. The military said more than 150 rockets and mortar bombs were fired from Gaza. The rockets landed in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, where nine residents were taken to hospital, including a woman in serious condition, the newspaper reports.

The flare-up comes as Egypt is trying to broker a long-term ceasefire between the two sides.

Warning of the imminent dangers of continued escalation, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov tweeted a statement early Thursday morning: "Our collective efforts have prevented the situation from exploding until now".

The current round of hostilities kicked off Tuesday, when Israel shelled a Hamas post and killed two snipers who were taking part in an exercise, mistakenly thinking they were shooting at Israel. Israeli media reported that army officials had later acknowledged a mistake had been made and the militants had not been firing at soldiers, though the military would not confirm that information to AFP.

Gaza has been controlled by Hamas for more than a decade, during which time it has fought three wars against Israel, most recently in 2014. That was followed by the rocket fire and then the Israeli strikes.

The attacks come as the United Nations and Egypt try to secure a deal between Israel and Hamas for a lasting truce.

Israel says it is defending its border and nearby communities and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the fence and carry out attacks.

The majority were killed during violent protests, but others have died in airstrikes or tank fire.

The video was also shared by at least one account in Gaza as proof that Hamas should not be messed with and will hit back if attacked.