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Israeli missiles kill Gaza bystanders

July 1, 2012

Tuesday, June 13. 2006

At least nine Palestinians, including two children, have been killed in two Israeli air strikes over central Gaza City.

Dr Jumaa al-Saqqa, a spokesman for al-Shifa hospital, told Aljazeera that a number of Palestinians were also injured in the strike in Salah al-Din Street, the main road through the coastal strip.

Hospital officials and witnesses are reported as saying that two schoolchildren are among the dead.

According to Aljazeera’s correspondent, seven people were killed in the first strike which hit a car carrying three members of al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad.

Palestinian witnesses said several missiles were fired, and one of them hit the car.

The second missile, which killed two other people, came two minutes later, after a crowd had begun to gather around the scene of the attack, witnesses said.

The correspondent said an ambulance driver was among the dead.

The number of the dead is expected to rise, as hospital sources say some of the injured are in a critical condition.

Islamic Jihad reaction

Khalid al-Batsh, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, confirmed to Aljazeera that al-Quds Brigades activists were killed in the attack.

“The activists were killed defending our nation, religion and Palestine, and continuing our resistance and jihad in the face of the Israeli occupation.”

Al-Batsh said: “The Israeli aggression will continue as long as the international voice is silent and Arabs feel embarrassed to condemn the Israeli massacres.”

Sources say a third missile strike occurred east of Gaza City, but the report could not be confirmed.

An AFP report identified the two activists as Hammudeh al-Wadyeh, 25, and Shawqi al-Saiqali, also thought to be in his 20s.

Israeli confirmation

The Israeli occupation army has confirmed that it fired a missile at the car.

An army spokeswoman in Tel Aviv told Reuters: “There was an attack on a car that was heading to fire rockets at Israel.”

Israel-Palestinian violence has escalated since an explosion on a Gaza beach on Friday killed eight civilians.

On Sunday, an Israeli air strike killed two Hamas members in the northern Gaza Strip and wounded three others.

Attacks escalating

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights based in Gaza City, has expressed its concern at the escalation of Israeli attacks in the occupied territories.

The rights organisation recorded the killing of 14 Palestinians and the injury of 36 others in Israeli attacks in 24 hours, in a report issued on June 11.

In a further development, Israeli forces planes resumed sonic boom attacks in the skies of the Gaza Strip on June 10.

“These attacks cause widespread fear among civilians, especially children, and cause material damage to property,” the PCHRC said.

The PCHRC “calls upon the international community to act immediately to stop these crimes, renewing the call to the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations to guarantee the protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories”.

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