While Palestinian organizations blamed Israel Monday for the killing of five Gaza family members, Defense Minister Ehud Barak
maintained that it was Hamas that is responsible for their deaths.
An IDF shell hit a house
in the town of Beit Hanoun Monday morning, killing five members of the Abu Meatak family. A 15-year-old boy was also killed in the strike while making his way to school. Nine people were reportedly injured, three of them sustaining serious to critical wounds.
"We hold Hamas
responsible for anything that goes on inside Gaza and for all the strikes," Barak said during a tour of an Israel Military Industries facility in central Israel.
"Hamas, which operates from inside population concentrations and keeps explosive devices in civilian areas, is also responsible for some of the civilian casualties in these operations," he stated.
Meanwhile, Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron said Monday that while Israel must target those who threaten its security, "The high number of dead children and civilians obligates the army to reconsider its methods of operation.
"Israel is effectively undermining any possibility for a ceasefire and calm, without offering any alternative solution. Egypt's detailed proposals, which have been jointly drafted with Hamas, must constitute a basis for truce."
Amnon Meranda contributed to the report