Gaza violence escalates again: pregnant woman and her 16-month-old daughter killed

Tensions return to their maximum after an incident at the border where two Hamas militants died. 150 rockets launched in Israel, 11 wounded in the city of Sderot. Israeli army: 140 Palestinian military sites are attacked, likelihood of another Gaza operation.


Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The violence on the Gaza border is exploding again as overnight the Israeli armed forces conducted a series of raids along the Strip, in response to a rocket launch conducted by Hamas.

The tensions flared up again  two days ago when the Israeli army (IDF) killed two Hamas militants. The clash seems to have exploded due to a misunderstanding: the Palestinians were conducting an exercise, interpreted as an attack by the IDF, which then opened fire. 

The Palestinian Authority of the Strip promised to take revenge and later resumed rocket firing into Israeli territory. At the sixth of the 150 missiles launched by Hamas, Israel has began its retaliation. The IDF claims to have hit 140 Palestinian "military sites".

Three Palestinians have lost their lives. Among the victims is Enas Khammash, a 23-year-old pregnant woman, and her 16-month-old daughter, Bayan. The Hamas rockets mostly landed in open areas. Some reached the city of Sderot, injuring 11 people.

It is the third time that the conflict has been rekindled since July, despite pressure from UN officials and Egypt for a long-term truce. For months the situation on the border has been inflamed: more than 165 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the demonstrations on 30 March. The prospect of a ceasefire seems unlikely. "We do not see the end of the escalation - says a senior Israeli official - we are approaching an operation in Gaza". According to the military, Israel is preparing for conflict.