Israel kills four boys on Gaza beach, injures several others
Israeli raids on Gaza on Wednesday afternoon killed nine Palestinians, including six children, bringing the total number of Palestinians slain in nine days of Israeli assault to 222.
Four children were killed when Israeli forces shelled a beach they were playing on in Gaza City on Wednesday, medics said, in an incident witnessed by AFP journalists.
All four were on the beach when the attack took place, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said, with several injured children taking refuge at a nearby hotel where journalists were staying.
They were reportedly attacked by Israeli naval boats, witnesses told Ma'an, and were members of the same family.
The children were identified as Ahed Atef Bakr, 10, Zakariya Ahed Bakr, 10, Mohammad Ramiz Bakr, 11, and Ismail Mahmoud Bakr, 9.
A Guardian reporter who witnessed the attack, and helped provide first aid to two children injured by shrapnel, tweeted about the shelling.
Five Palestinians including a three-year-old were also killed on Wednesday afternoon in an airstrike in the Absan area of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Akram Muhammad Abu Amer, 34, and his brother Kamal Muhammad Abu Amer, 38, were killed in the airstrike, along with Hussein Abd al-Latif al-Astal, 23, Roqayya al-Astal, 70, Yasmin Mahmud al-Astal, 4, and Osama Mahmud al-Astal, 6.
Elsewhere, five people were injured including two critically in an airstrike on Shamlakh family home in Sheikh Ajleen neighborhood in southern Gaza City.
Muhammad Kamal Abd al-Rahman also succumbed to wounds from a bombing in Gaza earlier in the day.
The latest attacks brings the Palestinian death toll since midnight to 23, with 222 killed and 1,670 injured since Israel's assault began last week.
A Gaza-based rights group says over 80 percent of the victims are civilians.
Earlier, Abdulrahman Ibrahim Khalil al-Sarhi, 37, was killed in an airstrike on the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City while Omar Abu Daqqa, Ibrahim Abu Daqqa, and Khadra Abu Daqqa, 65, were killed in a strike targeting a civilian vehicle in Khan Younis.
Ashraf Abu Shanab, 33, was killed in Shabura camp in Rafah and Muhammad Abu Audah and Muhammad Zahouq were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Abu Audah family home.
A five-year-old girl also died after falling from a building following an airstrike on a residential building in Rafah.
Islamic Jihad fighter Muhammad al-Dabari was killed in an airstrike on a Rafah building, while two men were killed in Khan Younis, while another man died from injuries sustained in an airstrike before midnight.
Gaza fighters have fired more than 1,200 rockets at Israel, which on Tuesday claimed their first Israeli life.
Overnight, warplanes struck about 40 sites across Gaza, among them political targets and the air force also dropped flyers warning 100,000 in northeastern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes ahead of an air campaign east of Gaza City.