Human Lives Human Rights: At least 13 Palestinians, including four children and four women, were killed early this morning and 20 others were injured in a series of Israeli airstrikes ushering in a new aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip.
The strikes took place around 2:am local time and left at least 20 people injured in addition to the 12 killed, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
According to a report by Palestine News Agency, a series of Israeli airstrikes targeted several homes and residential buildings across the besieged Gaza Strip, resulting in the murder of Jihad Ghannam, 62, Khaled Al-Buheiti, 44, and Tareq Izz al-Din, in addition to members of their households, including children and women.
It later updated the total killed to 13 and said among them were four children and four women, and that 20 were injured, some of them critically, among them three children and seven women.
Witnesses said an explosion hit the top floor of an apartment building in Gaza City and a house in the southern city of Rafah, the Reuters news agency reported.
The Israeli army said the air attacks, codenamed “Operation Shield and Arrow”, targeted three PIJ members who it claimed were responsible for recent rockets fired towards Israel.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement that “assassinating the leadership in a treacherous operation will not bring security to the occupier, but instead greater resistance”.
The Gaza-based group’s spokesman, Hazem Qassem, warned that Israel “bears responsibility for the repercussions of this escalation”.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said on Tuesday its medics treated 145 injuries in Nablus after an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town. A dozen people were shot with live fire and many others suffered tear gas inhalation, according to the Red Crescent Society.
Last week, Israeli missiles pounded the densely-populated Gaza Strip following rockets fired towards Israeli territory in the aftermath of the death in an Israeli prison of well-known Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan.
Adnan, an activist affiliated with the PIJ, died after nearly three months on hunger strike. Protesting against his arrest without charge, Adnan had refused to eat for 87 days, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.