At least 10 member of a Palestinian family – two women and eight children – have been killed by an Israeli air raid on their home in the Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, following the fifth night of relentless bombardment of the besieged enclave.
In the early hours of Saturday, rescue workers were digging through the rubble of the Abu Hatab family home where more people are believed to be buried.
At least 15 people were also wounded in the air raid, including an infant named Omar.
“We ran outside; we saw the four-storey house get completely demolished. It was completely levelled,” he said.
He added the homeowner’s sister and children were visiting when the attack occurred.
“They were all killed,” he said. “All of them.”
A boy who was wounded in the attack told Al Jazeera from the hospital that “the missiles hit and the windows got shattered.”
“It hit our head. We got wounded,” he said. “We started running barefoot and my sister left all our belongings behind.”
Funerals for the family were held early Saturday.According to the United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians, Shati is third largest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps and one of the most crowded. It is home to more than 85,000 refugees, who all reside in an area of just 0.52 square kilometres.
Other Gaza sites hit by Israeli missiles on Saturday included a bank and the interior ministry. Another air raid also reportedly hit a house in Khan Yunis.
Hamas, the group governing the Gaza Strip, responded to the latest attack on Shati refugee camp by firing a barrage of rockets towards the southern Israeli towns of Askhelon and Ashdod. No casualties were reported.
The Israeli bombardment of Gaza has killed at least 139 Palestinians, including 40 children, and wounded more than 920 since Monday when, following days of protests against the forced expulsion of Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah and subsequent Israeli crackdowns and raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Hamas began firing rockets at Israel.
The rockets, many of which have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system, have killed at least eight people in Israel, including one child.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have killed at least 13 Palestinians protesting against continued Israeli occupation and the ongoing bombardment of Gaza, while violence between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israeli Jews has persisted amid the escalation.