Yasmina, sister of slain 19-year-old Raed Khalil Abu Tair, at her brother's funeral in Gaza's Khan Yunis on Saturday (MEE/Sanad Abu Latifa)

Gaza death toll climbs to 10 as Israel launches more strikes

The escalation began on Friday when Israeli troops killed two Palestinian protesters taking part in the weekly protests across the border. A sniper from Islamic Jihad reportedly fired back at the Israeli troops, injuring two of them. A few minutes later, a retaliatory Israeli air strike then killed two fighters from Hamas.

GAZA (QNN) – Israel continued bombarding Gaza with a barrage of air strikes on Sunday, killing two Palestinians and wounding three others, officials and witnesses said.

The latest violence comes a day after at least six Palestinians, including a pregnant mother and her one-year-old baby, and one Israeli, were killed in tit-for-tat strikes and rocket attacks.

The latest killings raised the death toll to at least 10 that include a pregnant woman and a baby who were killed by Israeli air raids which began on Saturday.

Two Palestinians were killed when Israeli jets targeted a group of people in Al-Bureij refugee camp, according to eyewitnesses.

Medical sources at Al Aqsa hospital confirmed the deaths to Anadolu Agency.

Three Palestinian were also wounded in another Israeli air strike on Al Shati refugee camp, according to eyewitnesses.

Meanwhile, Israeli media and police said a 60-year-old Israeli man was killed early Sunday as a rocket hit his home in Ashkelon city.

According to Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, the man succumbed to his wounds shortly after he was transferred to Barzilai Hospital.

Escalation since Friday

The escalation began on Friday when Israeli troops killed two Palestinian protesters taking part in the weekly protests across the border. A sniper from Islamic Jihad reportedly fired back at the Israeli troops. A few minutes later, a retaliatory Israeli air strike then killed two fighters from Hamas.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad responded with rocket fire on Saturday.

In a statement, the two groups promised a “broader and more painful” response if Israel “pursues its aggression”. Israeli forces retaliated with air raids and tank fire targeting civilians’ homes and resistance-affiliated facilities. At least three buildings in Al-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza were levelled to the ground.

Anadolu Agency targeted

A building housing Turkey’s state news agency and Turkish charity Yardimeli Dernegi, had also been hit.

Several Turkish officials have condemned the attack.

They have called on the international community to act on Israel’s ‘disproportionate actions’.

Cairo talks

Hamas leader Yayha Sinwar is in Cairo for talks on efforts to maintain calm along the border and alleviate Israeli enforced hardship in the enclave.

“Egypt has stepped up its efforts with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Israel, but there is no conclusion yet,” said a Palestinian official familiar with Cairo’s mediation efforts.

The United Nations has also been part of the Cairo talks.

“The United Nations is working with Egypt and all sides to calm the situation,” said UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov.

Over the past few weeks, Cairo’s mediation had helped persuade Israel to lift some restrictions on the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza and expand the Mediterranean zone where Palestinians can fish to earn living.

But Israel scaled back the fishing zone this week and shut the border crossings entirely on Saturday.

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