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6-year-old Palestinian dies from wounds after Israeli airstrike

March 12, 2016 2:56 P.M. (Updated: March 13, 2016 2:35 P.M.)
An Israeli air strike in Rafah on July 12, 2014. (AFP/Said Khatib, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A six-year-old Palestinian girl on Saturday succumbed to wounds sustained earlier in the day when her home was hit during Israeli airstrikes in the northern Gaza Strip.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra confirmed that Israa Abu Khussa had died due to critical injuries. Her death came hours after her 10-year-old brother,Yasin, was killed in the strike and buried in the al-Salatin cemetery.

The Israeli air force had reportedly targeted four Hamas sites in the northern Gaza Strip early Saturday after four rockets were fired from the besieged enclave the evening before.

A Ma’an reporter based in Gaza said the children were in their house at the time of the airstrike, located in northwestern Beit Lahiya, adding that the family was still living in their home that was partially destroyed during the most recent Israeli offensive on the strip in 2014.

The Israeli army said the rockets fired from Gaza had landed in open areas in southern Israel, without reporting damage or injuries.

Head Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner called the rocket attack an “example of extremist incessant efforts to threaten the security and safety of the people of southern Israel.”

Lerner, citing a total of seven rockets fired from the blockaded Palestinian territory since the start of the year, said the military would “continue to protect against those who threaten innocent lives and Israel’s sovereignty.”

Over 190 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have been killed since violence increased in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October, nearly 30 of whom were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

A two-year-old Palestinian and her pregnant mother were killed in October when an Israeli airstrike caused their home to collapse in southern Gaza City, a five-year-old was killed by unexploded ordnance last month, and a number of others were shot dead during demonstrations near the border.

Several rockets were fired from the blockaded coastal territory into southern Israel last year, with the Israeli military launching retaliatory airstrikes in nearly every case.

Although much of last years' rocket fire was claimed by small militant groups operating in Gaza, Israel consistently holds the territory's de facto leaders Hamas responsible, and generally targets the group's military infrastructure in response.
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