The Israeli military said on Thursday it struck more 140 sites in different parts across the Gaza Strip after 150 rockets were fired from inside the besieged coastal enclave, injuring at least six people in Israel. Inas Abu Khmash, a 23-year-old pregnant woman, and her 18-month daughter, Bayan, were both killed during this overnight barrage of Israeli air attacks and artillery shelling.
At least 18 Palestinian were wounded on Thursday afternoon after a high-rise building in Gaza City was flattened in the latest Israeli air raids, health officials said.
The violence from both sides erupted even as the United Nations and neighbouring Egypt tried to secure a lasting truce between Israel and Hamas, the group administering the Gaza Strip.
Israel targeted the locality inside Gaza city of Deir al-Balah. Inas - almost nine months pregnant and mother of a baby girl had been living with her husband Mohammed in Deir al-Balah since April 2017. Witnesses say they heard two loud explosions and saw that Mohammed’s house had been targeted by Israeli strikes.
They describe the immediate aftermath of the attack as "shocking" as the air strike had ripped right through the living room, destroying the front end of the family's apartment. "There was blood everywhere," Abu Sanjar told Aljazeera. "We were shaken to the core," he added. "We saw the remains of Inas and Bayan and immediately called the ambulance and began collecting the body parts."
According to Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza, Mohammed suffered "serious" injuries to the head and other parts of his body. He is as yet unaware of the fate of his wife and child.
At least 157 people have been killed by Israeli gunfire since March 30 this year, when popular protests against Israel's naval, aerial and land blockade of Gaza and for the right of Palestinians to return to the homes from which they were expelled in 1948 began.