Six-year-old Israa Abu Khussa and her 10-year-old brother Yassin were still sleeping when the Israel Air Force launched four airstrikes across the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Saturday. Missile fragments tore through their home, only partly rebuilt following the 2014 offensive. Yassin and Israa were rushed to hospital, but both died of their wounds. Two other children were injured.
The Israeli attack came after four rockets were fired by an unidentified Palestinian faction late on Friday, landing in open areas in southern Israel not far from the Gaza border. There were no injuries.
In accordance with a policy of holding Hamas “accountable for all attacks emanating from Gaza”, despite the fact that the group was not responsible for the projectile fire, the Israeli airstrikes targeted sites belonging to Al-Qassam Brigades. The only casualties, however, were four children.
Since the start of 2016, a total of eight rockets have been fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, in four separate incidents on January 1 and 24, and March 11 and 14 (note that on January 1, three rockets also fell inside Gaza). Like the deadly airstrike this past weekend, the Israeli military responded to the rocket launchings in January with airstrikes on Hamas military facilities. Read Full Report