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5 Palestinians including 2 children killed in airstrike on Gaza home

Aug. 23, 2014 9:39 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 24, 2014 10:34 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Five members of a Palestinian family were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a home in central Gaza on Saturday morning, as Israel continued to bombard the besieged coastal enclave on the 47th day of the assault while Palestinian leaders urged international intervention.

The strikes brought the total death toll in Gaza to 2,098 with more than 10,550 injured according to Gaza medical authorities, of whom the United Nations has identified 70 percent as civilians.

The strike on Saturday morning hit the home of the Dahrouj family al-Zawayda neighborhood in the central Gaza Strip, killing a couple and their three children, medical sources said.

Spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said that medical sources managed to recover five bodies after an Israeli airstrike leveled the home of the Dahrouj family.

Al-Qidra named the victims as 4-year-old Abdullah Hayil Abu Dahdouh, 49-year-old Hayat Abed Rabbo Abu Dahdouh, 27-year-old Huda Muhammad Abu Dahdouh, 26-year-old Hayil Shihdeh Abu Dahdouh and 3-year-old Hadi Hayil Abu Dahdouh.

Another airstrike on Saturday morning hit the building of the al-Qarara municipality, striking an educational center in the building.

Earlier on Saturday morning, Abd al-Rahman Hadayid from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip succumbed to wounds he sustained a few days ago.

Israeli warplanes also destroyed al-Aidon mosque in Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City and another mosque in Abasan village east of Khan Younis in the south.

Eight Palestinians were also injured in the Zaytoun neighborhood when warplanes hit the home of Aqil family. The injured were evacuated to Shifa hospital.

A Ma'an reporter in Gaza said that an Israeli drone fired a missile at the house before fighter jets destroyed it completely by firing four missiles.

Israeli airstrikes also targeted two military bases belonging the military wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam Brigades, in Rafah and Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip as well a third in Beit Lahiya in the north.

Israeli gunboats, meanwhile, launched dozens of strikes on the Gaza shore as well as agricultural areas across the coastal enclave.

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed since Israel resumed its assault on the 139 square mile (360 sq km) enclave four days ago, after a series of temporary ceasefires had led to a fragile calm while indirect negotiations for a long-term truce took place in Cairo.

Palestinian negotiators, however, accused Israel of stalling in the talks and refusing to respond to numerous proposals they have put forth which call for peace in exchange for the end of an eight-year blockade that has crippled Gaza's economy by restricting the movement of all imports, exports, and people in and out of the territory.

Israel has refused these demands, instead insisting on the demilitarization of Gaza. Palestinian groups, however, have scoffed at this demand in the wake of the massive Israeli assault, arguing that Palestinian fighters managed to repel the Israeli ground invasion.

Abbas, Meshaal 'appeal to UN'

The Palestinian president and Hamas's exiled leader on Friday, meanwhile, urged the United Nations to draw up a "timetable" for the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories to end, Qatar state media said.

President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas head Khaled Meshaal issued the appeal during talks in Doha, as fighting continues in Gaza, Qatar's state news agency QNA said.

The two Palestinian leaders have been holding talks in Doha since Thursday, but little else has filtered out of their meetings which are hosted by the emir of Qatar, a key backer of Hamas.

On Thursday, Britain, France and Germany put forward key points of a new UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire, and the lifting of Israel's blockade.

Diplomats said the text was aimed at advancing efforts to reach agreement within the 15-member council after a draft resolution from Jordan met with resistance, notably from the United States.

Washington has wielded its veto powers at the Security Council repeatedly in the past on behalf of Israel, although the now 47-day war has strained relations between the allies.

The new resolution proposes a mechanism to monitor the ceasefire and supervise the movement of goods into Gaza to allay Israeli security concerns.

It also calls for Abbas's Western-backed Palestinian Authority to take back control of Gaza, seven years after his loyalists were driven out of the territory by Hamas.

AFP contributed to this report.
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