A Gaza woman and her threeyear- old daughter were killed when the Israel Air Force struck targets in northern Gaza Sunday, according to Palestinian medical officials.
The IAF launched air strikes on two Hamas weapons manufacturing sites early Sunday in retaliation for a Palestinian rocket attack on Ashkelon Saturday night that set off warning sirens, sending Israeli residents fleeing for cover. An Iron Dome anti-rocket battery intercepted the projectile in the skies over southern Ashkelon.
The IDF said it held Hamas responsible for all attacks out of Gaza.
Hours later, the IAF struck back.
Witnesses said the powerful explosion at one of the Hamas camps in Gaza City caused a nearby house to collapse while its inhabitants were sleeping inside.
IDF sources ruled out the possibility that the strike caused secondary munitions blast, saying reports coming out of Gaza needed further clarification.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said the woman killed was 30 and pregnant; her daughter was three.
A five-year-old boy and a man were wounded, he added.
On Sunday, Palestinians rioted near the Gaza border fence, for a third day.
A Palestinian gunman in Gaza fired shots at an Israeli civilian vehicle across the border Sunday morning. The vehicle was struck and sustained damage, an army spokeswoman said, but was empty and no injuries were reported in the shooting attack. The incident occurred on the border between southern Gaza and Israel.
In northern Gaza, near Nahal Oz, some 200 Palestinians gathered and threw rocks and burning tires. IDF soldiers fired in the air to disperse them.
On the border with central Gaza, some 100 Palestinians gathered and threw rocks and burning tires, while 30 Palestinians held a nearby violent disturbance nearby. The IDF deployed tear gas in those incidents.
Sunday’s events came hours after Gazan rioters approached the border with Israel and were shot by IDF soldiers Saturday after ignoring requests and warning shots to cease their advance into a closed military zone within 100 meters of the border.
Two Palestinian rioters, ages 12 and 15, were shot dead in the clashes on Saturday, Palestinian medics said, according to a Reuters report, while seven were killed in similar incidents on Friday.
On Saturday night, Gazans damaged the security fence on the border, and dozens of rioters infiltrated Israel from southern Gaza, but were immediately surrounded by security forces.
“The incident is under the full control of our forces, and ended with five of the infiltrators being taken for questioning and the remainder returning to the Strip,” the IDF said.
The Southern Command responded to multiple-border fence clashes throughout the weekend, and shot eight suspects who attempted to reach the boundary on Saturday.
Opposite Nahal Oz, around 100 Gazans held a violent demonstration on Saturday, one day after seven Gazan rioters were shot dead at the same location.
“Our forces are deployed up and down the border, ready for any developments,” an army source said Saturday evening.
On Friday, some 200 Gazans approached the border fence opposite Kibbutz Nahal Oz, burning tires and throwing rocks. They ignored calls by soldiers to stop and entered the closed military zone and came to within 50 meters of the fence, an army spokeswoman said.
Soldiers first fired in the air to stop their advance, but the rioters did not halt and soldiers opened fire.
Gaza hospital officials put the death toll at seven, with at least 14 others wounded.
Further south, Palestinian rioters attempted to burst through the fence at the Erez crossing; soldiers fired in the air, dispersing the crowd.
On Friday night, a rocket fired from Gaza exploded in an open area of the Eshkol region.
There were no injuries and no damage reported. The rocket set off warning sirens in the Gaza-border communities, sending residents fleeing for cover.
The leader of Hamas’s political wing in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Friday, “We give souls and blood for Jerusalem.
Jerusalem and Aksa is part of the religion,” describing Palestinians who have shot or stabbed Israeli civilians to death as “heroes.”
“Gaza stands beside the battle in Jerusalem... Gaza is fully ready,” he added, saying all Palestinians should defend the Aksa Mosque.