The Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported that among the victims were seven members of one family. According to the report, the person killed is 38-year-old Bahajat Zaalan. Among the victims are seven children between the ages of six months and 13, two of whom are in serious condition.
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A medical source said that the victims also included Zaalan's wife, another woman and a 57-year-old man. There were also shock victims. They were all taken to a hospital in Gaza city.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the Air Force carried a strike in the Rafah area. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit confirmed that the IAF attacked two targets and carried direct hits.
Child injured during IDF strike (Photo: EPA)
It later added that the air raid involved "additional blasts which were caused by the presence of arms in terrorist centers that were attacked." The statement noted that "the IDF regrets injuries caused to innocents but stresses that Hamas is accountable."
The strike was a response to the firing of five rockets at south Israel on Thursday. A Grad rocket exploded on the outskirts of Beersheba and two other rockets hit an open area between the Sha'ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev regional councils. No injuries or damage were reported. Then later two rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip at the western Negev landed in open areas in the Ashkelon area. No injuries or damages were reported.
Damage in Gaza after air raid (Photo: AFP)
The fire came several hours after two Al-Aqsa Brigades' operatives were killed in an IAF strike in Gaza Strip.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused Israel of an "unjustified escalation against Gaza" and urged Egypt, the leading regional mediator in Palestinian-Israeli affairs, to intervene. He said the flare-up in violence was designed "to test the response of the Arab world ... to a future war against Gaza and against the Palestinians in general."
Reuters, AP and Yoav Zitun contributed to this report
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