Pregnant woman, children killed in Israeli strike

Palestinian children, who hospital officials said were wounded in an Israeli air strike, receive treatment at a hospital in Gaza City August 19, 2014.

Palestinian children, who hospital officials said were wounded in an Israeli air strike, receive treatment at a hospital in Gaza City August 19, 2014.

An Israeli air strike Wednesday on a house in the Gaza Strip town of Deir el-Balah killed a pregnant woman, three young children and two male relatives, emergency services said, according to Agence France-Presse.

They named the dead as Rafat Aloah, 32, three of his children, his brother Mohammed 21 and the woman, Nabilah Aloah, whose relationship to the others was not immediately clear.

Hamas leader

Also on Wednesday, another Israeli airstrike on Gaza City killed the wife and infant daughter of elusive Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, the Islamist group said.

“The wife of the great leader was martyred with his daughter,” in a strike Tuesday night, Hamas’s exiled deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuk wrote on Facebook while saying nothing about the fate of Deif himself.

In reaction to Israel’s air strikes, Hamas which dominates Gaza threatened to aim more rocket fire at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv and cautioned international airlines to avoid it, according to Reuters news agency.

Hamas “has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression,” by making the airport a “target of attack” for the day, a Hamas commander said in a statement.

Death toll

The latest attacks bring the death toll to at least 2,026 since the beginning of the hostilities on July 8. 67 Israeli soldiers were killed.

The burst of violence, which erupted in the hours before a temporary truce was set to expire, came following the collapse of the peace talks in Cairo Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing dozens of rockets and Israel responding with airstrikes across the Gaza Strip.

It left the Egyptian mediation efforts in tatters and raised the likelihood of a new round of fighting in the war.

The fighting broke out when Gaza militants fired several rockets into Israel Tuesday afternoon.

Israel quickly withdrew its delegation from the Cairo cease-fire talks and resumed its campaign of airstrikes, and fighting continued into the night.

 
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