At least two teenagers in the Gaza Strip have been killed by Israeli air raids, according to Palestinian health officials, as Israel carried out the largest daylight attack on the besieged enclave since the 2014 war.
Amir al-Nimri, 15, and Luay Kaheel, 16, died of their wounds on Saturday shortly after an airstrike targeted al-Kutaiba, an area in western Gaza, the health ministry said.
— Electronic Intifada (@intifada) July 14, 2018
Twelve others were wounded by the attack.
The al-Kutaiba square is adjacent to a park frequently visited by families over the weekend, especially during the summer months, witnesses told Al Jazeera.
These 2 Palestinian lads, Amir Al-Nimra, 15, and Louay Kahil, 16, were playing soccer in Gaza when Israeli bombs interrupted their game and killed them both. pic.twitter.com/rNCQdmE0Ar
— Crimes Against Palestine (@PadraigMcKearny) July 15, 2018
Witnesses told Al Jazeera that the two teenagers who lost their lives were playing on the roof of the semi-abandoned building and described a scene where “there was glass everywhere”.
SHOCKING VIDEO captures the moment an Israeli air strike struck the Al-Katiba building in a densely populated area in downtown Gaza, killing two children and injuring dozens more. Man starts praying. pic.twitter.com/u0Oe1dmsP6
— Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (@ASE) July 14, 2018
Two other people were wounded in earlier Israeli air raids, which targeted several neighborhoods in Gaza, raising the total figure of those hurt to 14.
Following the attack on al-Kutaiba, a ceasefire agreement was reached through international and regional mediation efforts, Palestinian officials said on Saturday.
— Walaa Al Ghussein (@WalaaGh) July 14, 2018
In a Twitter post, Hamas, the group governing the Gaza Strip, said the efforts of “several parties” including neighboring Egypt succeeded in implementing a lasting ceasefire.
There has been no immediate confirmation from the Israeli side.
Dozens of air strikes hit sites across the #Gaza Strip over the last hour. Israeli army described the still ongoing assault as the "largest air campaign since the 2014 operation protective edge". pic.twitter.com/qq1SMZhBWn
— Belal Aldabbour (@Belalmd12) July 14, 2018
The escalation came just hours after a 15-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces at protests in the Gaza Strip near the fence with Israel and scores were wounded.
Also, a 20-year-old died on Saturday of gunshot wounds.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) July 13, 2018
Hundreds of protesters had amassed near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Friday to commemorate more than 100 days since the start of the Great March of Return mass rallies.
Since the protests began on March 30, nearly 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and more than 160,000 have been wounded.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)