GAZA CITY: Israeli attacks on Gaza on Tuesday killed at least 17 people and injured more than 100.
In the worst strike, a missile slammed into a house in Khan Yunis after people had reportedly formed a human shield to protect it, killing seven people.
Emergency services spokesman Ashraf Al Qudra told AFP two teenagers were among the dead and that at least another 25 people were wounded.
Know more: Israeli military offensive against Gaza
An eight-year-old child wounded in the attack later died of his injuries.
Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbours to gather at the house and shortly afterwards, an F-16 warplane fired a missile that levelled the building.
In response, Hamas said “all Israelis” would be potential targets for retaliation.
Shortly afterwards, two Palestinians were killed in a strike in Shejaiya, east of Gaza City.
The blast shook buildings in the city, and Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV replayed what it said was a video of the strike, which sent a tall cloud of debris into the air.
A further three air strikes killed three people, including a teenager.
One hit a motorised rickshaw in Beit Lahiya, killing a “young man,” and one west of Gaza City killed a 16-year-old boy, Mr Qudra said.
The third, a while later, hit Deit Al Balah in central Gaza, killing a Palestinian man, he said.
Earlier, three people were killed when a missile struck a car in the centre of Gaza City.
Al Aqsa TV showed gruesome images of charred body parts being loaded onto ambulance stretchers.
Relatives said all of them were Hamas militants, identifying one as Mohammed Shaaban, 32, a senior commander in Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigades and head of the group’s naval operations.
The army confirmed targeting Shaaban, describing him as “a senior Hamas operative”.
In a separate strike near Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, another man was killed, with witnesses saying he was a Hamas militant.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army shot dead four men from the Brigades on a beach in Israel after they had infiltrated, not far from the Gaza border. “A number of terrorists came out of the ocean and attacked the base with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades,” army spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said.
Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2014