Less than two weeks after concluding its largest military assault on the occupied West Bank in more than a decade, Israel has relentlessly pounded the besieged Gaza Strip since July 7.
The ongoing bombing campaign is the most severe violence inflicted by Israel on Gaza since its eight-day assault in November 2012, during which more than 150 Palestinians were killed, 33 of them children.
More than 1400 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including 350 children, during Israel’s three consecutive weeks of attacks from air, land and sea during winter 2008-09.
Twenty-five lives have been claimed by Israel in Gaza since July 7, including at least eight children. Warplanes bombed areas across Gaza, whose 1.7 million Palestinian residents live under a tightly-enforced siege and are unable to flee and have nowhere to seek shelter.
Islamic Jihad commander Hafiz Hamad (30) and five members of his family — Ibrahim Hamad (26), Mahdi Hamad (46), Fawzia Hamad (62), Mehdi Hamad (16) and Suha Hamad (26) — were killed in an Israeli air strike on their Beit Hanoun home in the northern Gaza Strip on July 8, according to a Gaza health ministry spokesperson, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported.
On that day, six children were killed when an Israeli missile struck the home of an alleged Hamas activist in the southern city of Khan Younis.
The human rights group Defence for Children International Palestine reported: "The five families that reside in the building evacuated immediately after an Israeli aerial drone fired a warning missile. A number of neighbors, however, gathered on the roof in an effort to prevent the bombing.
"Shortly after 3 p.m., an Israeli airstrike leveled the building, and killed seven people, including five children, on the spot and injured 28 others.
"Hussein Yousef Hussein Karawe, 13, Basem Salem Hussein Karawe, 10, Mohammad Ali Faraj Karawe, 12, Abdullah Hamed Karawe, 6, and Kasem Jaber Adwan Karawe, 12, died immediately, according to evidence collected by Defense for Children International-Palestine. Seraj Abed al-Aal, 8, succumbed to his injuries later that evening.
"DCI-Palestine confirmed two other Palestinian teenagers died in strikes across Gaza. An Israeli attack killed Ahmad Nael Mahdi, 15, from Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, and wounded two of his friends, one of which remains in critical condition.
"Ahmad Mousa Habib, 16, from Gaza City’s Al-Shujaiyah neighborhood, and his 22-year-old cousin were killed while riding a motorcycle, DCI-Palestine sources said.
"DCI-Palestine is confirming reports of at least three other children killed in the strikes on Tuesday."
[Reprinted from Electronic Intifada.]