A Palestinian carries
an injured boy into Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, after
Israeli tank fire struck home March 22, 2011.
At least eight Palestinians, including children, have been killed in
mortar attacks and airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.
The deaths occurred in two separate attacks on the eastern part of
Gaza City on Tuesday, witnesses said.
Two of the dead were aged 11 and 16, and four of them were from the
al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, a
spokesman for the group said.
Four people died when a shell slammed into a family home in Shejaiya,
medical sources told AFP news agency. Several hours later, another
four were killed - all of them fighters - in an air raid in the
nearby Zeitun neighbourhood.
On Tuesday, the military said it was responding to rocket attacks
from Gaza. It also confirmed it had fired mortar rounds towards the
eastern outskirts of Gaza City on Tuesday, shortly after four
rockets hit Israel, and expressed "regret" over reports that
civilians had been hurt.
It was the third time Shejaiya had been targeted on Tuesday,
following an earlier one which wounded one fighter and a burst of
tank fire, which left two civilians wounded shortly after dawn.
Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from Gaza, said that more
tit-for-tat attacks could be expected.
"Tensions look to be rising here, and violence could increase," he
The latest incident also comes after at least 19 people were wounded
in a series of raids on Monday, in the northern town of Beit Lahiya
and Gaza City.
Witnesses said a security compound for Hamas, which controls the
Gaza Strip, a training camp north of the city and a brickworks and
metal foundry in northern Gaza were among the targets.
Rising cross-border violence has occurred, also increasing tensions
between Israel and Hamas and once again raising fears of another
large-scale Israeli invasion.