An Israeli airstrike in Gaza City killed at least 10 people early Saturday, as the Jewish-majority state intensified its offensive in the region. All those killed were members of a single family — eight children and two women.
The attack, which prompted fresh rocket fire from Hamas militants, came hours after top US State Department official Hady Amr landed in Tel Aviv in an attempt to deescalate tensions.
He was set to meet Israeli leaders in Jerusalem on Saturday, before heading to the occupied West Bank for talks with Palestinian officials.
Further violence was expected on Saturday as Palestinians mark Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, when they commemorate the estimated 700,000 people who fled or were driven from their homes in the 1947-49 war with Israel.
Rocket fire from Gaza and Israel’s bombardment of the blockaded Palestinian territory continued into early Saturday and included an Israeli airstrike on a three-story house in a refugee camp in Gaza City.
Eight children and two women from an extended family were killed.
Mohammed Hadidi told reporters his wife and five children had gone to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday with relatives. She and three of the children, aged 6 to 14, were killed, while an 11-year-old is missing. Only his 5-month-old son Omar is known to have survived.
“There was no warning,” said Jamal Al-Naji, a neighbor living in the same building.
Hamas said it fired a salvo of rockets at southern Israel in response to the airstrike.
Israel’s military said some 200 rockets were fired by Palestinian militants between Between 7 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday, over 100 of which were intercepted by air defenses.
The violence has killed more than 130 people in Gaza. Eight people have died in Israel since Monday.
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