GAZA CITY – While representatives of various Palestinian resistance groups were heading to Cairo Monday, April 28, to discuss a truce, Israeli occupation forces killed at least seven people in Gaza, including four young siblings.
"They were eating and they were hit," a neighbor told Reuters.
An Israeli tank fired a shell a one-storey Palestinian house in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun while the family was having breakfast.
The bombing immediately killed four siblings whose ages ranged from 1 to 5 years old.
The victims were identified as Mussab Abu Maateq, one, Hana Abu Maateq, three, Rudeina Abu Maateq, four, and Saleh Abu Maateq, five.
Their mother died of her critical wounds in hospital, doctors at the Kamal Oudwan hospital said.
Nine other people were wounded in the Israeli attack, including two other siblings who are in life-threatening conditions.
A Palestinian resistance fighter was killed in an exchange of fire with the invading Israeli occupation troops in the area.
Earlier, a Palestinian civilian was detained by Israeli occupation forces.
"They soon released him before gunning him down," said a reporter for the Doha-based Al-Jazeera news television.
A 14-year-old Palestinian girl was killed by Israeli occupation forces Sunday in nearby Beit Lahiya.
An air and ground blitz unleashed by Israel against Gaza in February claimed the lives of more than 129 people, including more than 40 children, toddlers and newborn babies, as well as 13 women.
The onslaught came one day after Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai threatened to turn the sealed off Strip into a "bigger holocaust" for the Palestinians.
At least 443 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, have been killed since the US-hosted Annapolis peace conference in November.
The latest Israeli aggression came as representatives of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), headed to Cairo.
Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman will host them on Tuesday and Wednesday to draft a common position regarding the truce proposal.
Hamas last week offered Israel a six-month truce, including an end to rocket fire into Israel, if Israel lifted an embargo on the territory.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday gave his unconditional support to Egypt’s mediation efforts.
A proposal put forward by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit stipulates a ceasefire, the opening of the border crossings, a lifting of the blockade and finally the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Israel has been closing the Gaza Strip’s exits to the outside world since last June.
It has completely locked down the coastal area, home to nearly 1.6 million people, since January.
(IslamOnline.net and agencies)