Israeli planes fired a missile targeting Hamas bases in Gaza strip early Saturday killing a 10-year-old Palestinian boy and injuring his sister and his brother, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
A statement by the Israeli military said aircraft had targeted four militant training camps belonging to Hamas after four missiles landed in open areas in southern Israel late on Friday. No casualties were reported from the rocket strikes.
Yasin Abu Khussa, 10, died after missile debris hit his home, which is situated next to a base of the group’s military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassem Brigades, at Beit Lahiya in the north of the strip.
His sister Yasmin, 6, was seriously wounded and his brother Ayub, 13, suffered moderate injuries, AFP cited al-Qudra.
This was the first casualty from air strikes in Gaza since last October. The Israeli army said that since the beginning of the year and including Friday’s salvo, seven rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
Israeli military spokesman, Lieutant-Colonel Peter Lerner said the rocket strike was an effort by militants to “threaten the security and safety of the people of southern Israel. The (military) will continue to act to protect against those who threaten innocent lives and Israel’s sovereignty.”
Militants claiming links to the ISIS jihadist group have said they were behind rocket fire in recent months, but Israel holds Hamas responsible for all such incidents.
Gaza rocket fire has been gradually lessening since a 2014 war when militants fired thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel and over 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and six Israeli civilians and 67 soldiers were killed.
After months of escalated violence and a wave of attacks by Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, Israel prefers to avoid a fresh flare-up in Gaza, where Hamas has mostly held its fire in the past 18 months.