Palestinian death toll on the rise as Israel continues to bomb Gaza
The confrontation between armed Palestinian groups in Gaza and the Israeli army Sunday caused the deaths of two Palestinians, including a teenager. A 60 year old man, Adel Saleh al-Issi, was killed in the latest Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza, according to a spokesman for emergency services in Gaza, Adham Abu Selmiya. The Palestinian death toll now stands at 18 since Friday.
Earlier in the morning, an Israeli raid on northern Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian schoolboy of 12 years, Asaliya Ayoub was killed his brother Waafi, aged seven wounded, medical sources reported.
In a third raid, a Palestinian was injured in eastern Gaza City, the sources said.
The Israeli army confirmed the raid against two rocket launching sites in northern Gaza Strip, "used by terrorist organizations to launch long-range rockets – of more than 40 km - against Israel."
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that they were Iranian designed "Fadjer" missiles ", which can reach Tel Aviv.
This new round of violence between Israeli forces and armed groups in Gaza Strip was triggered by the killing Friday of Zuhair al-Qaïssi, the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a Gaza-based movement that advocates armed struggle against Israel. Since then, a total of 18 Palestinians were killed, including 15 fighters, and 30 others injured, six seriously.
At the same time, Palestinian armed groups fired over 120 rockets into southern Israel, including 44 mortars and 68 Grad rockets, said Israel's Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, adding that the air force carried out 26 raids on the Palestinian territory. The Israeli police reported 18 shells were fired Sunday.
At least 30 rockets were intercepted by the anti-rocket defense system "Iron Dome," the Israeli army said. Israeli leaders have however ruled out a major Israeli military operation in Gaza, at least for now.
"The Iron Dome system is proven and we will work to expand it in the months and years to come," said Netanyahu at the opening of the cabinet.