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Israeli tanks kill seven Palestinians, including mother and four young children, in Beit Hanoun

April 28, 2008 9:19 A.M. (Updated: April 28, 2008 9:19 A.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Seven Palestinians were killed, including a mother and her four young children, and at least seven others were injured when Israeli tanks shelled a house in the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning, witnesses and medics said.

Palestinian medics identified the mother, Khadra Abu Mu'attaq, and her children Ahmad Abu Mu'attaq, three-year-old Hana Abu Mu'attaq, four-year-old Salih Abu Mu'attaq, and six-year-old Rudayna Abu Mu'attaq.

The family was inside the house, eating breakfast at the time of the shelling.

A student, 17-year-old Ayyub Atallah, was killed on his way to school. His friend Mu'tasim Sweilim was injured.

The sixth Palestinian killed was a member of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, named Ibrahim Al-Hjuj. He was also identified by medical sources.

Muawiya Hassanain, the Gaza-based director of ambulance and emergency services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, confirmed that the deaths took place after Israeli forces fired on the Abu Mu'attaq family home in Beit Hanoun.

Witnesses reported that Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded Beit Hanoun early on Monday morning and began firing on residential houses.

On Sunday night Israeli forces raided the town of Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, seized 40 Palestinians, and used bulldozers to destroy agricultural lands, witnesses said. The Israeli forces withdrew at midnight.

***Updated at 10:04 Bethlehem time

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