Palestinian official: Israeli offensive leaves 27 dead since Tuesday

By Xinhua

Gaza : A Palestinian health official said Thursday that the Israeli army had killed 27 Palestinians in a row in Gaza and the West Bank since Tuesday this week.

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Mo’aweia Hassanein, chief of emergency and ambulance service in the Ministry of Health, told reporters that the Israeli army killed 19 Palestinians in Zeitoon neighborhood, eastern Gaza City on Tuesday, wounding over 40 with 12 still admitted to intensive care unit.

However, he said 15 of the dead were Islamic Hamas militants, and they were killed in air and ground strikes carried out by Israeli aircraft and tanks.

On Wednesday, Hassanein said, the Israeli army killed five Palestinians, including two brothers and a kid, in the Gaza Strip and one Islamic Jihad militant in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

A day later, a militant of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) armed wing was killed with his wife by Israeli airstrike when they were driving in northern Gaza Strip.

The death toll killed by the Israeli offensive within the past few days is the highest since Hamas took control of Gaza Strip in mid June last year, said the official.

Israel said that the intensive airstrikes on Gaza aimed at reining on Gaza militant groups, mainly Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who intensified their homemade rockets attacks from Gaza at Israel.

Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas armed wing said its militants fired around 45 Qassam rockets at southern Israeli towns and dozens of mortar shells at Israeli army bases and Israeli communities near the borders with Israel.