Palestinians: Family of 7 killed in IDF shelling

Palestinian officials reported on Monday that a family of seven was killed overnight Sunday in an IDF shelling. According to the report, five children and their parents died when a shell fired by the navy hit their home in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. In two incidents in Gaza City's Zeitun neighborhood, three children were said to have been killed in an IDF strike and a man and his granddaughter were reportedly killed by gunfire in their home. The IDF said it was looking into the various reports. But army spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said that if civilians were killed, then Hamas was to blame because it operates within civilian areas. "If Hamas chooses to use those civilians as human shields, then Hamas should be accountable," she said. "Civilians will probably continue to get killed, unfortunately, because Hamas put them in the first lines of fire." Meanwhile, the IDF infiltrated Hamas's television broadcasts and issued a call to Palestinian non-combatants not to serve as human shields to Hamas terrorists, Israel Radio reported. Palestinians reported that 64 people had died in battles since the ground offensive began Saturday evening, saying most of them were civilians. However there was no objective monitor to the number of Palestinian casualties and The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report. Since Operation Cast Lead began, 512 Palestinians have been killed and approximately 2,500 wounded, Palestinian medics said. Unconfirmed reports cited 87 children among the dead. The UN estimated that a quarter of fatalities on the Palestinian side were civilians. Israel was set to allow humanitarian aid to pass into the Gaza Strip on Monday, with 80 trucks loaded with medical supplies and food expected to cross through Kerem Shalom cargo crossing. Government officials said fuel supply would be renewed via the Nahal Oz depot, after it was closed for the past week due to security concerns. Some 200,000 liters of fuel for Gaza's power station and other needs would be pumped through. Additionally, the evacuation of dual nationals from Gaza was set to continue, with some 200 people expected to leave the Strip. On Sunday, defense officials said the IDF was prepared to deepen and escalate its ground operation in Gaza, after the army divided the territory in half and began surrounding Gaza City. Hamas, the officials said, was encountering difficulties in delivering orders to its forces. St.-Sgt. Dvir Emmanueloff, 22, from Givat Ze'ev and of the Golani reconnaissance unit, was killed on Sunday by mortar shell shrapnel during clashes with Hamas gunmen near Jabalya. Another soldier was critically wounded in the attack. Two soldiers and three civilians have been killed by Hamas rockets and mortar shells since the Gaza operation began ten days ago. AP contributed to this report.