Israeli artillery pounded northern Gaza today in an attempt to destroy tunnels used by militants and pave the way for a potential ground invasion of the Palestinian territory.
Red flames lit up the skies as the blasts from the outskirts of Gaza City jolted people awake.
In northern Gaza Strip, Rafat Tanani, his pregnant wife and their four children were killed when an Israeli warplane reduced a building to rubble, residents said. Sadallah Tanani, a relative, said the family was “wiped out” without warning.
“It was a massacre,” he added.
An Israeli military spokesman said tanks near the border fired 50 rounds in an operation aimed at the tunnel network. Israel has massed troops along the border since violence erupted on Monday and has launched over 600 air strikes. Militants in Gaza, which is controlled by Islamist group Hamas, have fired about 1,800 rockets into Israel.
Gaza’s health ministry said the death toll since Monday has risen to 109 Palestinians, including 28 children and 15 women. Seven people have been killed in Israel including a six-year-old boy.
A fourth night of communal violence in Israel saw Jewish and Arab mobs clashing in Lod.