Ten more Palestinians have lost their lives and dozens of others, including children, have been injured in separate Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, reports say.
On the deadliest day of the shelling of the strip on Friday since the end of the Gaza war two years ago, Israeli tanks and warplanes struck heavily on the northern Gaza territory, AFP reported.
The devastating 22-day assault, code-named Operation Cast Lead, on the impoverished enclave in December 2008 and January 2009, killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and inflicted a damage of $1.6 billion on the region’s already-stagnant economy.
In the latest Israeli shelling of Khan Younis, two people were killed and ten others, including children, were left injured. In Rafah, Israeli tank shelling claimed the lives of four people.
Another missile strike, near the northern town of Beit Lahiya, killed one Palestinian on the spot, while another one died of his wounds in a hospital, witnesses said.
As dusk fell, a shell slammed into a cemetery in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, killing two people, one of them a 10-year-old boy, and wounding 10 others, some of them also children, according to Palestinian medics.
The total death toll over the past 24 hours has risen to 15 Palestinians, and at least 57 others were wounded, 12 of them seriously, medics said.
Israel in recent days has intensified its air and ground attacks against Gaza. The attacks are often launched under the usual pretext of responding to the purported firing of projectiles.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
Meanwhile, in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, up to 2,000 protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy to protest the strikes.
The mostly youthful crowd waved Palestinian and Egyptian flags and chanted, “The people demand the liberation of Palestine.”