Family of five killed by Israeli airstrike in Gaza

Smoke billows from an Israeli air strike on the Hanadi compound in Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement
Israeli airstrike flattens Al Jazeera building

At least 30 people have been killed, mostly Palestinians, since the start of the air strikes on Monday evening. More than 125 have also been wounded in Gaza.

On the Israeli side, two people were killed and dozens injured in Ashkelon, an Israeli town lying close to Gaza.

Hamas said it had unleashed 137 rockets on the town on Tuesday. Later Tuesday it also unleashed a barrage of rockets close to Tel Aviv, killing one person and forcing the closure of Israel’s main airport.

Hundreds of people brandishing Palestinian flags attended Tuesday’s funerals of several of the victims in Beit Hanun, which lies just one kilometre from the Erez crossing point into Israel.

As the procession of mourners reached the cemetery, a volley of rockets thrust into the skies heading towards Israeli territory.

Mourners shouted: “Allah Akbar” — “God is greatest”.

Sitting in the cemetery was Abu Hussein Hamad stroking the face of his 11-year-old son, Hussein, for the last time before he was buried.

“What did this innocent child do?” he asked, tears welling up in his eyes.

Hussein was killed in the same strike as the five members of the al-Masri family, his neighbours.

“I promised to buy him new shoes for the Eid al-Fitr,” said the sobbing father, referring to this week’s celebrations to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Nearby, Hussein’s grandmother also couldn’t hide her emotions.

“They killed him,” she said. “He hadn’t committed any crime.”