At least 20 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes that were launched across Gaza on Monday, including nine children. Another 60 Palestinians were wounded in the bombing.
Eyewitnesses said the strikes targeted crowded civilian neighborhoods. Among the slain were two siblings, eleven-year-old Ibrahim al-Masri and seven-year-old Marwan, from the city of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, who were killed while playing in the street.
“My children were martyred. I cannot find any justification whatsoever for targeting someone passing through overcrowded civilian neighborhoods where dozens of children usually play,” Youssef al-Masri, the father of the children, told Middle East Eye.
Israel framed the bombings as retaliation for rockets fired into Israeli territory by Hamas. But as is always the case, the Israeli response was disproportionate. Only one Israeli was “lightly injured” by Hamas’ rocket fire.
Hamas launched the rockets in response to violence against Palestinians in the al-Aqsa mosque and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, where Palestinians are facing evictions. Over the past few days, hundreds of Palestinians have been injured by Israeli police, soldiers, and Jewish settlers.
The violence shows no sign of slowing down. Israeli forces continue to attack Palestinian protesters, and the Israeli military sent reinforcements to the Gaza border on Monday.