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Mortar attack kills Israeli child

August 22, 2014

An Israeli child has been killed by mortar fire from Gaza, bringing the total number of civilian casualties in Israel to four. Earlier, Hamas militants executed 18 people suspected of collaborating with Israel.

Nahostkonflikt Israel Palästina Hamas Kämpfer ARCHIVBILD 2008
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Officials said a four-year-old boy had been killed in an attack from the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, the first Israeli death since an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire broke down earlier this week.

The missile landed near a kindergarten in the Sdot Negev region, in a village near the frontier.

Earlier on Friday, Hamas militants shot dead seven Palestinians in front of the al-Omari Mosque, according to witnesses and Hamas media. 11 others alleged to have worked with the Israeli military were killed by a firing squad at a Gaza City police station, also on Friday, Hamas security officials said.

Quoted by news agency Associated Press, the Hamas-run website Al Rai warned that "the same punishment will be imposed soon on others," adding that "the current circumstances forced us to take such decisions."

The executions come a day after Israel killed three Hamas military leaders - identified as Mohammed Abu Shamaleh, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum - in an airstrike on a family home near Rafah in southern Gaza.

On Friday, Israel launched more than 20 airstrikes at Gaza, killing at least four people. Meanwhile, Israel reported two injuries from Hamas rocket fire out of Gaza, after Egyptian-mediated talks aimed at brokering a lasting truce collapsed earlier this week. Thus far, there is no sign the parties will be returning to the negotiating table.

The United Nations has renewed calls for a long-term ceasefire, and Germany, France and Britain have circulated a draft resolution at the Security Council in a bid to end the conflict.

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