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7 dead in Jabaliya strike after residents told safe to return north

Aug. 3, 2014 9:44 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 5, 2014 11:02 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Seven Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on their home in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, a day after Israel said it was safe for residents of the north to return home.

Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement that an Israeli airstrike that targeted a house killed seven people in Jabaliya.

He identified six of them as Bilal Abd al-Karim Najim, Abd al-Karim Najim, Ahmad Abd al-Karim Najim, Raghad Najim, Suha Najim, Shayma Wael Qasim.

The seventh body is yet to be unidentified.

Another 30 Palestinians were injured in the strike.

Israeli officials said Saturday that it was safe for residents of the northern Gaza Strip, with the exception of Beit Lahiya, to return to their homes.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed to Ma'an Sunday that residents of northern Gaza had been informed it was safe for them to go back to their homes.

Asked why the army was continuing to strike the north, the spokeswoman said: "We never said there would be no activity in the north."

She had no information about the deadly airstrike in Jabaliya, but said she would look into the incident.

The Israeli army has repeatedly commanded Palestinians in Gaza to leave their homes throughout the ongoing offensive on the Strip.

Israel's current offensive on Gaza has forced 445,000 people -- a quarter of the Strip's population -- to leave their homes, according to the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs.

Some 10,600 homes have been destroyed and over 26,000 damaged throughout the offensive, OCHA figures show.

Gaza's health ministry says 1,810 people have been killed and 9,324 have been injured since the beginning of the assault.

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