Escalating Operation Pillar of Defense meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel, the IDF on Sunday began attacking homes of terrorists in Hamas, which led to the killing 24 civilians in under two days, a Gaza health official said.
In Monday's attacks, a missile struck a three-story home in the Gaza City's Zeitoun area, flattening the building and damaging several nearby homes.
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The strike killed three adults and a 2-year-old boy, and wounded 42 people, al-Kidra said.
Residents said Israel first sent a warning strike at around 2 am Monday, prompting many people in the area to flee their homes.
Ahed Kitati, 38, had rushed out after the warning missile to try to hustle people to safety. But he was fatally struck by a falling cinderblock, leaving behind a pregnant wife, five young daughters and a son, the residents said.
Sitting in mourning with her mother and siblings just hours after her father's death, 11-year-old Aya Kitati said: "We were sleeping, and then we heard the sound of the bombs."
Funeral of Daloo family members (Photo: AP)
Ahed's brother, Jawad Kitati, said he plucked the lifeless body of a 2-year-old relative from the street and carried him to an ambulance. Blood stains smeared his jacket sleeve.
Also Monday, Israel bombarded the remains of the former national security compound in Gaza City.
Flying shrapnel killed one child and wounded others living nearby, al-Kidra said. Five farmers were killed in two separate strikes, al-Kidra said, including three who he said had been mistakenly identified earlier by Hamas security officials as Islamic Jihad fighters.
Rubble in Gaza (Photo: EPA)
Other strikes killed two fighters on a motorcycle in southern Gaza and two passengers in a taxi that had put a press sign in the windshield, al-Kidra said.
Another clan member, Haitham Abu Zour, 24, woke up to the sound of the warning strike and hid in a stairwell. He emerged to find his wife dead and his two infant children buried under the debris, but safe.
Gazans fleeing their homes (Photo: AP)
Clan elder Mohammed Azzam, 61, denied that anyone in his family had any connections to Hamas. "The Jews are liars," he said. "No matter how much they pressure our people, we will not withdraw our support for Hamas."
Late Sunday, an Israeli missile killed a Hamas policeman and his 8-year-old son on the roof of their Gaza City home. The father was on the roof to repair a leaking water tank, his relatives said.
In another area of Gaza City, the patriarch of the Daloo family, Jamal, sat in mourning for 11 members of his family killed in a missile strike on his home Sunday. Among the dead were his wife, his son, daughter-in-law, his sister and four grandchildren.
Daloo's 16-year-old daughter Yara was still missing and believed under the rubble, family members said.
Left with two sons, Daloo tried to take comfort in the belief that the loss of his family was God's will and that the dead are now in paradise. He vehemently disputed Israel's initial claim that a senior operative of Islamic Jihad was hiding in his house. He said his son Mohammed, one of those killed, was a policeman in the Gaza police, but not an activist.
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