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Toddler killed in Gaza explosion
Published Tuesday 19/06/2012 (updated) 21/06/2012 12:40
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Boys look through a hospital window in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza on
June 18. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian toddler was killed Tuesday evening in an explosion south of Gaza City, medics said.

Emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said in a statement that Hadil al-Haddad, 2, was killed and her brother was injured in the Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

A Hamas medical official told Reuters the cause of the child's death was not clear. Witnesses said she was killed when militants launched a rocket close by.

An Israeli military spokesman told Ma'an the army had not attacked that area. He said the army's initial investigation suggested al-Haddad's death was caused by a failed rocket launch by Palestinian militants.

Israeli airstrikes killed four men in northern Gaza on Monday and two teenagers were killed by Israeli shelling on Tuesday morning. Israel's army said the attacks were in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli army spokesman told Ma'an that 25 rockets were fired into southern Israel on Tuesday.

The military wings of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Resistance Committees said they had fired projectiles across the border on Tuesday in response to the barrage of Israeli attacks.

"If the enemy does not stop its crimes, the resistance will respond with all available defense means," the PRC's Nasser Salah ad-Din Brigades said in a statement.

Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, also fired rockets into Israel on Tuesday for the first time in over a year. For months, Hamas has stayed on the sidelines and discouraged smaller militant groups from firing rockets into Israel.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said Israel's attacks prompted the group's military wing "to take a firm stance" and launch rockets.

Although Hamas usually holds its fire under an unofficial truce, Israel says it holds the ruling party responsible for any attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Ground operation

Israeli cabinet minister Silvan Shalom on Tuesday raised the prospect of a ground operation in Gaza.

"The more things deteriorate, the closer we come to a decision we don't want to make," Shalom told Israel Radio. "The prospect of a ground operation shouldn't frighten us."

"If this situation escalates, and I hope it won't, then all options are open. They know it. We know it. The international community knows it," Shalom added.

On Monday militants who crossed into Israel from Egypt's Sinai desert fired on Israelis building a barrier on that frontier, killing one worker. Soldiers shot dead two of the infiltrators.

In a video recording obtained by Reuters in Gaza, a group of masked men claimed responsibility for the Sinai incident on behalf of what they said was a newly formed Islamic movement, the "Shura Council of Mujahideen in the Holy Land".

The masked men used Islamic slogans, pledging to liberate the Holy Land from what they termed Jewish control.

A second video showed two men, one of whom said they were about to embark on a mission to attack "the Zionist forces on the border of Egypt and occupied Palestine", an apparent reference to Monday's incident on the Sinai border.

The first man said he was an Egyptian named Abu Salah al-Masri. The other said he came from Saudi Arabia and gave his name as Abu Huthiyfa al-Rathali. The videos could not immediately be verified.

Reuters contributed to this report
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1 ) Arnold / Canada
19/06/2012 22:45
"Witnesses said she was killed when militants launched a rocket close by." Further proof of the lack of respect the militants have for the people. Death = martyrdom for man , woman , or in this case child.

2 ) Colin Wright / USA
19/06/2012 23:03
'Israeli airstrikes killed four men in northern Gaza on Monday and two teenagers were killed by Israeli shelling on Tuesday morning. Israel's army said the attacks were in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.' What B.S. Fairly obviously, the killings are in retaliation for that Israeli killed by a foray from Gaza last weekend. It's just that since Israel realizes it wouldn't be very helpful to kill Egyptians at the moment, she's contenting herself with some of her usual victims.

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
19/06/2012 23:53
We are the Hamas. Surrender your freedom and submit yourselves to the collective mindlessness of our fatwas. You will be absorbed into the Islamic revolution and be made part of our collective. Resistance is futile.

4 ) some one / some where
20/06/2012 01:49
wow another group for god sak let inocence people get out of this hot place this time if they attacked no one can stoped them god have mercy upon those inocence people

5 ) Arnold / Canada
20/06/2012 20:33
Colin Wright- The storyline is about a toddler killed by an explosion of a missile that misfired. Do you not have the decency to give a thumbs down comment to the militants that surround themselves with innocent civilians in order to do their dirty work. If you do not like my phrase "dirty work" then i will change it to "do their resistance work". Meanwhile the child was murdered by her own people.

6 ) Jihane / Palestine/France
21/06/2012 13:16
@ Arnold Your sentence "militants that surround themselves with innocent civilians in order to blahblah..." is just dishonest. "Surround themselves with" means more than "hiding among" - the usual hasbara-crap - but that they 'deliberately gathered people in order to blahblah'. Maybe you should take a trip to the Gaza Strip to see what it's like ! The image of "the world's biggest concentration camp" isn't taken out of nowhere !

7 ) Rafi Bushila / US/Israel
21/06/2012 22:49
As someone with a friend who pilots drones over Gaza, I am told that when the Israelis fire, they have a pretty good idea what they are shooting at. My buddy knows all the streets in Gaza and told me that they have quite clear video of what goes down when they attack militants. This article states nothing about the Gazans who were killed. However, it omits the fact that the Israeli killed near the border was actually an Arab-Israeli from Haifa. What a tragedy and stupidness of the attackers.

8 ) Business / Israel
22/06/2012 02:59
The death was caused by a failed rocket launch, not overcrowding in Gaza. Do you realize how close the child had to be to a rocket to be killed this way? Who would launch a rocket with a child next to it? Someone who thought they might be watched from a drone and wouldnt it be useful to have a child right there, just in case the Israelis were looking and wanted to fire. That is who. Sick, like the whole sick society.

9 ) southparkbear / usa
25/06/2012 19:07
facts do lie. you fire rockets from a dense populated area once a mistake, twice soft brain, 20,000 it's a pattern using civilians as a shield and counting that 'accidents' could be blamed on israel
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