Gaza Strip: New Israeli massacre kills at least 12 Palestinians
Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip Friday killed at least 12 Palestinians and wounded many more. In the worse attack, Israel Navy gunboats fired artillery shells on the beach in the northern Gaza Strip, killing seven people and wounding at least 35 others, Palestinian medical officials said. Witnesses said that Israeli navy vessels launched missiles at civilians swimming at Sudaniyeh seashore. Three children and two women were amongst those killed.
Later, two Palestinians died when an Israeli missile hit their car in Bet Lahiya, This came after another Israeli strike killed three Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) members in the northern Gaza Strip.
President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli killing operations in Gaza Strip, describing them as "annihilation war" against the Palestinian people. "Undoubtedly what happened in Gaza today are bloody pogroms against safe civilians," said President Abbas in a statement to WAFA. "Israel is committing the biggest crimes of termination against the Palestinian people."
President Abbas called on the international community, the UN Security Council and the Quartet to put an end to Israel's haughtiness and crimes against the Palestinian people.
Earlier, Palestinians fired rockets into Israel Friday and vowed to avenge the assassination of the Hamas government's senior security chief. The security chief, Jamal Abu Samhadana, was killed late Thursday.
Hours after his death, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets into Israel, hitting a building in the southern town of Sderot. Tens of thousands of Palestinians flocked to a Gaza Strip stadium for Abu Samhadana's funeral Friday, some firing in the air and calling for revenge.
According to the AP, hundreds of gunmen escorted Abu Samhadana's body from the morgue to his house, and through the streets of Rafah on the way to the stadium. They fired thousands of bullets in the air, chanting, "God is great" and "revenge, revenge."
"All options are open for the resistance groups to deliver a message to the enemy that must equal the magnitude of Abu Samhadana's loss," Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri told Hamas Radio.
Hamas government officials called Abu Samhadana's killing a direct assault on the Palestinian Authority, and vowed to continue its resistance against Israel.
Palestinian factions, including Fatah, condemned his killing, and said it would only fuel attacks on Israel.
Ghazi Hamad, a government spokesman, said Israel's targeting of a key government figure raised the likelihood of "dangerous consequences and developments."