An Israeli Air Force strike targeting terrorists in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip Wednesday evening killed two people and wounded eight more, members of a family who were eating dinner in their home. In addition, eight people suffered from shock.
Moments after the strike, Defense Minister Amir Peretz took the podium at the Caesarea Conference in Jerusalem, and during his speech he was informed of the tragic incident. Holding his head, Peretz continued his speech but noted, “I am in difficult times. Regretfully the report is about innocents paying a heavy price in this difficult conflict,” he told the audience.
Wounded child treated (Photo: Reuters)
According to Palestinian reports, an IAF aircraft fired a missile towards a car driving through the city, but it missed the vehicle and struck a building.
The victims were Fatma Ahmad, 35, and her brother Zakariya Ahmad, 46. Fatma was declared dead on the scene, and Ahmad died shortly afterwards in hospital from the fatal wounds he suffering in the strike. The wounded, members of a family who had sat down to dinner in their home when the missile struck, were identified as Abed al-Kader Ahmad, his wife, mother and three children – two of them less than five years old.
Security officials said the air strike targeted a Popular Resistance Committee terror cell. Palestinian sources, however, said it appeared the missile was aiming at a Magnum van in which Muhammed Sinuar, a commander of the Hamas military wing in south Gaza, was driving.
Hamas has not confirmed the report. Following the strike, all the Palestinian factions threatened to escalate attacks against Israel.
More innocent victims
On Tuesday three Palestinian children – 6-year-old Muhammad Roka, his 5-year-old sister Nida and 16-year-old Bilal al-Hizi, were killed Tuesday evening as the Israel Air Force attempted to assassinate a group belonging to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in the Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, the al-Shifa Hospital Director Dr. Jumaa al-Saka told Ynet.
The Israel Defense Forces expressed its regret "if civilians not involved in terror activities were hurt in the operation," adding that "responsibility lays on the terror organizations and on the Hamas government."
Another 15 people were wounded in the strike, including two group activists who were in the car and sustained serious wounds.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report