At least three Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old child, were killed by Israeli air attacks and artillery shelling on the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
The Israeli military claimed it launched the attacks late on Wednesday after about 150 rockets were fired from the besieged coastal enclave.
This is Bayan Abu Khammash. She was about to be a big sister but today she was killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza along with her mother who was 9 months pregnant. pic.twitter.com/lFgyiyOeXm
— (((YousefMunayyer))) (@YousefMunayyer) August 9, 2018
Israel’s military on Thursday warned Hamas against a further escalation in violence, and Israeli media said officials were considering evacuating residents from areas near the Gaza fence.
A senior military official was quoted as saying on the military’s Twitter account:
“The way things continue to play out is significant. Hamas will understand in the coming hours, as in the past months, that this is not the direction it wants to choose.”
Two Palestinians killed (a mother an
her baby girl) in an Israeli air strike on their house in the middle of the Gaza Strip.
The martyrs names..
1-Enas Khamash 23 years
2-Bayan Khamash 1.5 years.
PS. The mother is pregnant.#GazaUnderAttack
— eizeddin (@eizeiz1976) August 8, 2018
The official Palestinian news agency WAFA, citing health sources, reported at least one Palestinian was killed and 12 others were wounded.
The heavy exchange of fire comes as attempts to secure a ceasefire were reportedly making progress.
🇵🇸#Palestine || Bayan, one and a half year old, was killed with her 9-month-pregnant mother by an Israeli air strike that bombed their home in central #Gaza Strip tonight. Via @Eye_onPalestine and @DaysofPalestine pic.twitter.com/QicEgbEpTv
— Robert Martin (@Robert_Martin72) August 9, 2018
Abdullatif al-Kanoo, a spokesperson for the resistance group Hamas, said in a Twitter post on Thursday:
“In regards to the continuing [Israeli] aggression …The Palestinian resistance is in self-defense and has a duty to respond to the aggression against our people.”
“The escalation of the barbaric shelling of Gaza and the deliberate targeting of civilians [by Israel] is premeditated and the [Israeli] occupation will suffer the repercussions and pay a higher price for its crimes.”
Israeli air strikes on the occupied Gaza Strip kill 3 Palestinians overnight – including a pregnant mother, Enas Khammash, & her 18-month daughter Bayan. @AFPhttps://t.co/SKQhd0C1Cg pic.twitter.com/nEeGtaId4L
— Ben White (@benabyad) August 9, 2018
Wednesday’s exchange came just a day after two Palestinians in Gaza were killed by Israeli fire.
The dead Palestinians were identified as Ahmed Murjan and Abdel-Hafez al-Silawi, both 23 years old, and Hamas confirmed they were members of the group.
The attacks come as the UN and Egypt try to secure a deal between Israel and Hamas for a lasting truce.
— Belal Aldabbour (@Belalmd12) August 9, 2018
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said on Wednesday he was “deeply alarmed by the recent escalation of violence between Gaza and Israel, and particularly by today’s mutiple rockets fired towards communities in southern Israel”.
More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the Great March of Return protests were launched at the end of March. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper. At least 16,000 Palestinians have been wounded, according to health officials in Gaza.
It's so sad that that a pregnant young woman, in her ninth month, was just killed along with her one year old daughter as the #Israeli warplanes targeted a house in Dair Albalah City.
The warplanes are still in the skies of #Gaza while #Palestinians are afraid of death! pic.twitter.com/BorBfWy2lL
— We Are Not Numbers #Gaza (@WeAreNotNumbers) August 8, 2018
The protests call for Palestinians to be able to return to the land they or their families fled or were expelled from in the 1948 war that established the state of Israel.
Israeli forces have launched three military assaults on the Gaza Strip since 2008.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)