Israeli airstrike kills three-year-old in Gaza

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A relative of three-year-old Palestinian girl Hala Abu Sabikha kisses the forehead of the toddler as she lies in a morgue after an Israeli strike on Gaza killed her on December 24, 2013. (Photo: AFP - Mahmud Hams)

Published Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A three-year-old Palestinian girl was killed Tuesday and three of her relatives wounded in one of a series of air strikes by Israeli warplanes on the Gaza Strip, as soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man in northern Gaza in a separate assault, medical sources said.

A fourth person was also wounded in the strikes, which came in response to the shooting death earlier of an Israeli repairing a fence on the Gaza border.

Medics named the girl as Hala Abu Sabikha from the central Gaza Strip, noting "three other members of her family were wounded."

A separate medical source in Gaza said another civilian was injured in an Israeli raid "east of Gaza City."

The Israeli man was the first Israeli killed on the Gaza frontier in more than a year.

Officials from Hamas, which governs Gaza, and witnesses said Israeli aircraft bombed the group's training camps in Khan Younis and al-Bureij. Witnesses said Israeli tanks fired shells east of Gaza city.

Gaza hospital officials said the girl was killed by shrapnel during the Israeli strike on the Bureij facility.

She was standing with other family members outside their home near the camp and two of her brothers were wounded, the officials said.

Earlier, a Palestinian was killed in a separate attack in northern Gaza, hospital officials said. An Israeli military spokeswoman claimed he was handling an explosive device near the border fence and that soldiers fired at him after warnings.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the sniper attack, which followed a Palestinian rocket strike over the Gaza border on Sunday that caused no casualties.

Violence has also increased in the West Bank in recent months, where at least 19 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed since the ngetotionas resumed between Israel and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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