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Death toll reaches 17 as Israel targets northern Gaza

July 8, 2014 5:20 A.M. (Updated: July 9, 2014 1:42 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes on the northern Gaza Strip killed six Palestinians on Tuesday evening, bringing the total death toll in Israel's latest assault on the besieged enclave to 17.

A child was killed and two others wounded in an airstrike on the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City in the early evening.

Suleiman Salman Abu al-Sawaween, 30, was killed and another critically injured in an airstrike on al-Qarara, north of Khan Younis.

Ahmad Moussa Habib, 48, and Ahmad Ahed Habib, 19, were killed after an airstrike targeted a tuk-tuk vehicle in the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood in Gaza City, medics said.

Fakhri Saleh Ajjouri was reported killed after an airstrike targeted a motorcycle near Abraj al-Sheikh Zayed in the northern Gaza Strip.

Earlier, seven Palestinians were killed and 25 were severely injured in an Israeli airstrike targeting a house in the southern Gaza Strip, a medical official said.

An eight-year-old child, Siraj Iyad al-Abdel, later died from injuries sustained in the airstrike.

A missile slammed into the house in Khan Younis after people had reportedly formed a human shield to protect it, killing seven people, including two children.

Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbors to gather at the house as a human shield and that, shortly afterwards, an F-16 warplane fired a missile that leveled the building.

The house belonged to the al-Kaware family.

Abduallah Kaware, Mohammad Ashour, 13, Riyadh Kaware, Mahmoud Judeh, Bakir Mahmoud Judeh, 22, Ammar Mohammad Judeh, 22, and Hussein Mohammad Kaware, 14, were killed.

"The Khan Younis massacre... of children is a horrendous war crime, and all Israelis have now become legitimate targets for the resistance," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Facebook.

Prior to the deaths in Gaza City, the body of Rashad Yassin, from al-Nuseirat refugee camp, was found under the rubble of a destroyed house in central Gaza.

Yassin is reportedly affiliated with Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades.

At least 100 Palestinians have been injured since late Monday in military action dubbed Operation Protective Edge, with Palestinian security sources putting the number of airstrikes at more than 70.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri warned Israel was "playing with fire" and would pay for its ongoing operations.

Since midnight, militants in Gaza have fired more than 100 rockets, an Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP, saying only around 33 of them had hit Israeli territory.

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