Israeli Shelling Kills Toddler And Her Mother, Who Was Pregnant

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Israel carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip killing at least three people, including a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old daughter.

Israeli air strike

As Palestinians continue to protest for the right of return of Palestinian refugees, tensions between the Israeli military and Hamas keep escalating at the border.

And innocent people keep losing their lives.

On Aug. 8, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out air attacks and artillery shelling on the Gaza Strip, killing at least three people, including a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old child, according to Palestinian health ministry.

Enas Khammash, 23, and her daughter, Bayan, were killed in an airstrike in Jafarawi in central Gaza. Her husband was also injured in the incident.

The IDF didn't comment on the deaths but said it launched the attacks in retaliation after about Hamas allegedly fired 150 rockets from the Strip, injuring at least six people in Israel.

Although both the sides have been involved in an intractable conflict for over seven decades, the unrest has markedly increased since March 30 when Palestinians organized a huge protest, entitled, "March of Return," alongside the border with Israel, demanding the right of return of Palestinian refugees now scattered across the world.

The demonstration started off peacefully but turned violent and deadly as Israel indiscriminately opened fire on mostly unarmed protesters, killing at least 118 as of May 15, its official end date.

But neither the protests ended then nor the killings.

Israel claims the Aug. 9 attack was retaliatory but, according to an AFP report, the latest bout of hostilities between the two sides had already begun on May 26 when the Israeli military struck Gaza in response to "a brief incursion across the Gaza border earlier in the day by Palestinian protesters who immediately fled back into Palestinian territory," according to the AFP report.

The IDF never elaborated what the "brief incursion" was. No Israelis died as a result of it.

Yet, what followed was a never-ending exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Hamas, thereby claiming even more lives and injuring more people in Gaza since May 15, Al Jazeera noted. At least one Israeli soldier was killed and two wounded.

The bloodshed is nowhere near its end, according to the latest warnings issued both by Israel and Hamas.

"The way things continue to play out is significant. Hamas will understand in the coming hours, as in the past months, that this is not the direction it wants to choose," a senior IDF official stated on the military's Twitter account.

"In regards to the continuing [Israeli] aggression …The Palestinian resistance is in self-defense and has a duty to respond to the aggression against  our people," Abdullatif al-Kanoo, a spokesperson for Hamas, said in a tweet.

 

"The escalation of the barbaric shelling of Gaza and the deliberate targeting of civilians [by Israel] is premeditated and the [Israeli] occupation will suffer the repercussions and pay a higher price for its crimes," he continued.

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