Gaza death toll climbs to seven

People pray at a mosque next to the bodies of three Palestinian children killed in Israeli shelling on Saturday, during their funeral in Gaza City on 11 November 2012. (Photo: Reuters - Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Israel continued its aerial bombardment of Gaza for a fourth consecutive day Tuesday morning, striking an uninhabited area it said was used to store weapons and launch rockets, as a 20-year-old Palestinian died from injuries sustained during Israeli attacks on Saturday.

The man, Mohammed Ziad Abdullah Quno, was critically wounded when Israeli tanks shelled a civilian area in Gaza City Saturday, killing four others, mostly children, and injuring at least 25.

Quno's death brings the total number of people killed in Gaza to seven since Saturday.

The newest round of attacks erupted after leftist fighters with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine attacked an Israeli military SUV that crossed into Gaza on Saturday, injuring four soldiers.

Two 20-year-old members of Islamic Jihad were killed in Israeli air strikes Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Palestinian resistance groups retaliated by launching dozens of rockets into southern Israel Saturday night and Sunday. There has since been a significant drop in rocket attacks on Israel as Palestinians offered a truce on Monday.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Monday night said at a news conference they were ready for a ceasefire if Israel ends its aggression against Gaza.

"The Islamic and nationalist movement confirm that the response of the resistance depends on whether the Zionist aggression against our people is continued," they said.

However, Israel’s minister of defense Ehud Barak told reporters his government was preparing to launch a round of assaults on Gaza, without going into detail.

"The matter has definitely not ended and we will decide how and when to act at the time when there will be a need," he said.

"I do not want to talk about the time or the means because it would not be right to allow the other side to have this information," he added.

Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth on Monday reported that the United States had given Israel a green light to launch a major assault on Gaza.

(Al-Akhbar, Ma’an, AFP)

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