REVISES NUMBER OF DEAD, INJURED
By Mustafa Deveci
JERUSALEM (AA) - At least two Palestinians have been martyred in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, Gaza’s Health Ministry said Thursday.
They include a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old child, according to ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra.
Twelve others have been injured in the strikes, including the woman’s husband.
In a separate statement, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) said its fighter jets targeted 12 terror sites in the Gaza Strip.
"As of now, approximately 70 rocket launches were identified from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory. The “Iron Dome” aerial defense system intercepted 11 launches; the majority of the rockets hit open areas," the IAF said on its Twitter account.
The Israeli press reported that nine Israelis had been injured.
In a written statement, the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came after two of its fighters were killed by Israeli fire on Tuesday.
“Hamas hit the "enemy" with a large number of rockets,” it said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of the security cabinet due to the growing tensions in the Gaza Strip which was attended by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and senior commanders.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli army shelled a Hamas military position in Gaza in retaliation for an alleged attack from the Palestinian side that targeted its heavy equipment on the Gaza-Israeli border.
In a statement, the army claimed that its tanks hit a Hamas position in eastern Gaza in response to earlier gunfire from the strip targeting Israeli construction vehicles.
A watchtower of the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades in Al-Zaytun neighborhood was targeted by the Israeli shelling.