Pregnant Palestinian, Child Die in Israeli Airstrike

Pregnant Palestinian, Child Die in Israeli AirstrikePregnant Palestinian, Child Die in Israeli Airstrike

A Palestinian woman who was five-months pregnant and her three-year-old daughter have been killed in an Israeli airstrike east of Gaza City.

Medical sources in the besieged territory said 30-year-old Noor Hassan and her daughter Shahd died when their house collapsed following an Israeli airstrike on a Hamas military training camp near their home, Al Jazeera reported.

Three other people were wounded in the attack on Sunday and Palestinian rescue services are continuing to search under the rubble.

The Israeli Army said the airstrikes were launched in response to a rocket that was fired into southern Israel. The rocket was reportedly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system.

The army said its planes were targeting two Hamas weapons-manufacturing sites in the area.

After the deaths of the mother and child, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman, said: “The IDF [Israeli army] holds Hamas responsible for any act of aggression from the Gaza Strip.”

In a separate incident on Sunday, Israeli police said a Palestinian woman set off an explosive device in the occupied West Bank.

A policeman spotted her vehicle close to the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim and ordered the 31-year-old woman to stop, police said.

She exited the car and the explosives inside detonated, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, wounding her seriously and the officer lightly.

  Teenagers Killed

On Saturday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers in the Gaza Strip during confrontations, less than 24 hours after six people were shot dead while protesting along the border with Israel.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said 13-year-old Marwan Barbakh and 15-year-old Omar Othman were shot with live ammunition in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Medical sources confirmed to Al Jazeera that at least 23 people had been injured in clashes with Israelis across Gaza on Saturday.

The ministry said in a post on Facebook that the total number of Palestinians killed since the start of October now stood at 20, with nine killed in the Gaza Strip, and 11 in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Beit-ul-Moqaddas.

The deaths of Noor Hassan and her daughter bring the death toll to 22.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers killed six Palestinians protesting along the border separating the territory from Israel.

Among those killed on Friday was a 15-year-old boy who was fatally shot at a demonstration in the al-Faraheen village, southeast of Gaza City.

  East Beit-ul-Moqaddas Deaths

The deaths of the two teenagers in Gaza came shortly after three Palestinians were killed in separate incidents in East Beit-ul-Moqaddas after reportedly attacking Israelis.

The dead included a 16-year-old who was shot dead by Israeli police after stabbing two men, and a member of Hamas who opened fire on Israeli paramilitary police during a clash in the Shuafat Refugee Camp.

The recent violence has been fueled by Palestinian fears that Israeli hardliners are trying to take control of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Beit-ul-Moqaddas, one of Islam’s holiest sites.

Those fears have grown after visits by Jewish groups, including politicians, to the site.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted Israel is committed to maintaining the status-quo and has banned his ministers from visiting the site.

Under the current arrangements, Jews are allowed to visit the site but non-Muslim prayer is banned.