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Deadly Israeli air strike in Gaza

July 8, 2014

At least four people have died during an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza, said by residents to have belonged to a member of the radical Hamas movement. The attack follows rocket strikes from Gaza into Israel.

Palestinians survey a house which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strikes in Gaza City July 8, 2014. Israel launched an aerial offensive in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, bombing more than 30 targets including homes and calling it part of a campaign named "Operation Protective Edge" targeting Hamas Islamist militants firing rockets at the Jewish state. The military urged Israelis within a 40-km (24-mile) radius of the southern coastal territory to stay within reach of protected areas and ordered summer camps shut as a precaution against rocket fire. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Image: Reuters

An Israeli air strike on Gaza killed at least four people and wounded some 15 others, according to medics, in an attack that local officials claimed was aimed at a Hamas member.

Residents living nearby by said the home targeted in the attack belonged to the family of a Hamas member. The casualties were said to have happened when the house came under attack for a second time.

It was unclear who the dead were, although the AFP news agency quoted an emergency services spokesman as saying that children were among the injured.

Reuters quoted local residents as saying that people had gathered on the roof of the building after the first strike.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government announced that it had given the military persmission to call up some 40,000 more reservists, although it said the move was purely a contingency measure.

'Mission will go on'

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) provided more details earlier on Tuesday about Operation Protective Edge, an Israeli military offensive targeting alleged militants in the Gaza Strip.

According army spokesman Peter Lerner, 80 rockets and mortars (an example is pictured above) were launched from Gaza into Israel on Monday alone.

Israel's response came in the form of air and naval attacks that were aimed Gaza homes said to belong to militants, concealed rocket launchers, and other militant sites. Around 50 targets in Gaza were hit, according to IDF.

"They chose the direction of escalation," said army spokesman Peter Lerner. "So the mission will go on as long as we feel it is necessary to carry it out. We don't expect it to be a short mission on our behalf."

Lerner added the air mission could be expanded with a "ground mission if required," but all attacks would stop if Hamas ceased its rocket attacks on Israel.

The surge in violence has come as tensions rose on both sides of the secular divide over the murder of three Jewish teenagers, which Israel has blamed on Hamas, and the killing of a Palestinian youth, apparently in revenge.

rc/mkg (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)