The Israeli Defense Force has confirmed that while targeting Hamas’ rocket chief it mistakenly bombed the home of the Al-Dalou family, killing at least 11 civilians, four of them children and toddlers.
"Israel has killed a family of eleven people this evening, and many, many more. If Israel wants to stop its aggression, then we can talk. But before then, how could we consider any deal?" Salama Maroof, a senior Hamas spokesman told the Daily Telegraph.
IDF said the source of the error was either a failure to laser-paint the correct target or that one of the munitions in the strike misfired, Haaretz newspaper reported. The Israeli military is investigating the incident.
The Israeli military targeted Hamas' rocket-launching unit led by Yehiya Rabiah, but apparently hit the house of a neighbor, the newspaper noted. Rabiah seems to have survived the attack despite earlier claims that he was killed.
Pictures from the site of the attack show the bodies of dead children taken from the ruble of their home. Nine members of the Al-Dalou family, all of them women and children were killed, two other people were also among the dead.
The latest deaths add to the growing toll of Gazan children killed in Israeli air strikes. So far at least 75 people have been killed in the attacks, 13 of them are childen.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that sooner or later, Israel would be held accountable for the “massacre.”
The child death toll is expected to rise unless the two sides enter negotiations soon. However the Israelis are maintaining their belligerent stance.
“The Israeli military is prepared to significantly expand the operation. The soldiers are ready for any activity that could take place…the Israel Defense Forces have attacked more than 1,000 terror targets in the Gaza Strip and it continues operations at this very moment,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a weekly cabinet meeting.