AFP
Last updated: 19 July, 2014

Israel air strike kills 7 in southern Gaza

Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip killed 11 people early Saturday, medics said, on day 12 of a major operation against the Palestinian territory.

The first strike killed seven people outside a mosque in the southern city of Khan Yunis, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP, adding that three of the dead were from the same family.

One woman was among those killed, Qudra said.

Three more people were killed shortly afterwards, in three separate strikes in Beit Hanun in the north, Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, and another in Khan Yunis.

In Khan Yunis, a later strike on a home killed 28-year-old Raed al-Laqan.

The deaths took the toll from an Israeli operation to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza to 307, many of them women and children.

One Israeli civilian and one Israeli soldier have been killed since the campaign started on July 8, and several injured.

Some 2,250 Palestinians have been injured, according to Qudra.

Operation Protective Edge is the bloodiest conflict in the besieged coastal enclave since 2009.

Israel launched a ground offensive late Thursday, starting a new phase in the operation which it said aimed partly to destroy tunnels used by the Strip’s main power, Islamist movement Hamas.