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Israeli boy killed in Palestinian mortar attack


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Gaza gunmen killed 18 alleged spies for Israel on Friday, including seven who were lined up behind a mosque with bags over their heads and shot in front of hundreds of people. The killings came in response to Israel's deadly airstrike against three top Hamas military commanders.

The killings occurred after more than six weeks of heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas. In new violence, a 4-year-old Israeli boy was killed by Palestinian rocket fire, while four Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed a tough response to the killing. In all, more than 2,000 Palestinians and 68 people on the Israeli side have died.

In Gaza, Hamas media said Friday's shootings signaled the start of a crackdown, under the rallying cry of "choking the necks of the collaborators." It was the largest number of suspected informers killed by Hamas in a single day since it seized Gaza by force in 2007.

The Al Majd website, which is close to the Hamas security services, said suspects would now be dealt with "in the field" rather than in the courts in order to create deterrence.

Hamas said it would not release the names of those killed because it wanted to protect the reputation of their families. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said two of those killed Friday were women. It called for an immediate halt to what it said were "extra-judicial executions."

The killings came a day after an Israeli airstrike on a house in southern Gaza killed three senior military leaders of Hamas. The three had played a key role in expanding Hamas' military capabilities, including building a network of attack tunnels into Israel and smuggling weapons.

Earlier in the week, another strike killed the wife and two children of Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of the Hamas military wing. Deif's fate remains unclear.

Friday's events began with the shooting of 11 alleged informants at the Gaza City police headquarters in the morning. Of the 11, two were women, the Palestinian rights center said.

Later in the day, seven people were killed outside the city's downtown al-Omari mosque as worshippers wrapped up noon prayers. Photos from the incident posted on several Palestinian websites showed several hundred people gathered near the scene.

The photos showed masked, black-clad gunmen leading several men with bags over their heads to a wall.

Witness Ayman Sharif, 42, said a piece of paper was affixed to the wall above the head of each of the seven, with his initials and his alleged crime.

Sharif quoted one of the gunmen as saying the seven "had sold their souls to the enemy for a cheap price" and had caused killing and destruction.

The commander of the group then gave the order to the others to open fire with their automatic rifles. He said the bodies were collected by an ambulance and the gunmen left.

Friday's killing marked the third time since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war six weeks ago that Hamas announced the killing of alleged collaborators. On Thursday, Al Majd said seven people were arrested on suspicion of working with Israel and that three of them were killed.

In pinpointing the whereabouts of the Hamas commanders, Israel likely relied to some extent on local informers. Israel has maintained a network of informers despite its withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, at times using blackmail or the lure of exit permits to win cooperation.

Meanwhile, Israel-Gaza fighting continued for a third day since the collapse of Egyptian-led cease-fire talks earlier this week.

By early evening, Gaza militants had fired at least 90 rockets and mortar shells at Israel, while Israel carried out at least 30 airstrikes in Gaza, the military said.

Just before sundown, a mortar shell landed in the Israeli village of Nahal Oz near the Gaza border, killing the 4-year-old boy, rescue officials said. Police released a photo of the scene showing two charred cars destroyed in the attack.

Netanyahu's office said the prime minister expressed his condolences and vowed that Hamas would pay a "heavy price."

Elsewhere in Israel, one civilian was moderately wounded by a rocket in the southern city of Beersheba and another was lightly hurt by a rocket that landed in the border town of Sderot. In the city of Ashdod, a rocket hit a synagogue and three people were lightly hurt by shattered glass.

In Gaza, one of the strikes hit a livestock farm where two workers were killed and three people were wounded, said Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra. The Israeli military said its strikes targeted concealed rocket launchers and weapons sites.

Since Israel-Hamas fighting erupted on July 8, at least 2,091 Palestinians have been killed in the coastal territory, according to Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

Nearly a quarter of the dead - 469 - are children, according to a UNICEF field officer in Gaza, Pernilla Ironside. Of the more than 10,500 Palestinians wounded, nearly one-third are children, according to UNICEF figures, while some 100,000 Gazans have been left homeless.

On the Israeli side, the boy's killing Friday raised the death toll to 68 people, including 64 soldiers, three civilians and a Thai worker.

The renewed fighting dashed hopes for a lasting truce. Earlier this week, Hamas rejected an Egyptian truce proposal under which Israel would gradually ease its blockade of Gaza, without giving specific commitments.

Hamas demands a lifting of the border closure imposed by Israel and Egypt after the militant group's takeover of the coastal strip in 2007.

A quick resumption of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo also seems unlikely, particularly after the killing of the three Hamas commanders. Senior Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said late Thursday that his group would not budge from its demands.

Israel says the Gaza blockade is needed to prevent Hamas and other militant groups from getting weapons. The restrictions prevent most Gazans from traveling outside the crowded coastal strip and bar most exports.

Amid the crisis, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal in Qatar to push Hamas negotiators to return to cease-fire talks, and to encourage Qatar to support Egyptian cease-fire efforts, a Palestinian official said.

Abbas flew to Egypt later Friday to meet with Egyptian intelligence officials to discuss cease-fire efforts, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss issues related to the negotiations. Abbas is scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi during a three-day visit to Egypt.

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Join the discussion

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Ken August 22 2014 at 2:47 PM

Why is the Liberal media so anti-Israeli and pro-Islam?

Flag Reply +56 rate up
41 replies
fdonran42 August 22 2014 at 2:22 PM

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: The headline is that a 4 yr old Israeli boy is killed and the accompanying photo is of Muslims praying. What's wrong with this picture?
Israel kills Hamas militants and we get a photo of some little old lady or infant. This is called 'reporting'.

Flag Reply +47 rate up
17 replies
lets.play.wheres.waldo.obama August 22 2014 at 3:30 PM

I just want to be sure I am correct.
** Hamas are Muslims?
** ISIS are Muslims?
** Barack Hussein Obama
is America's President?
One last question ---
** Muslims are engaged in a war against Western /American values?
Thanks - Now I understand...!

Flag Reply +46 rate up
15 replies
sugarnspice10172 August 22 2014 at 2:19 PM

This is the Hamas system of justice. No trial, just kill them...and Israel is supposed to negotiate with them?! If the Hamas did that to their own countrymen, what makes anyone believe they want one Israeli to live in peace.

Flag Reply +42 rate up
10 replies
bd2thebone August 22 2014 at 2:15 PM

Too bad Gaza is so close or they could just nuke it and be done with it.

Flag Reply +40 rate up
13 replies
djaurand August 22 2014 at 3:07 PM

Hamas fires rockets at an enemy they have no chance of defeating militarily
So why to they do it?
To get Israel to return fire, unintentionally killing Palestinian civilians
So Hamas wants Palestinians killed.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
6 replies
rcalley1 August 22 2014 at 2:15 PM

Hamas is dying and soon they all will be in hell's fire for eternity. No man can stand against another man who has the true GOD with them. The true GOD is the GOD of Israel and Christianity. All others are false. But the beauty of Israeli and Christians is you do not have to believe in what we believe to live in peace. You simple have to let us have our belief and you can have your. Our comand from GOD is to simply let you know of him and what he can do for you. But you have free will.
Any religion which requires belief or death is not a religion of GOD but of the Devil and all those who practice this will burn in Hell for Eternity! And if you will not stop then it is our duty to send you on to your eternal reward and we can and we will.

Flag Reply +27 rate up
18 replies
kiick23 August 22 2014 at 3:19 PM

Actually this would have been the 13,000 Israeli child killed by the Palestinian Hamas if not for the iron dome. Certainly you can't accuse the Palestinians of not trying with their 13,000 rocket attacks against civilian targets. They are no better than Nazis and Huns except for the fact that they can't shoot straight. But when it comes to 'intent" the Philistine animals are at the top of the list of genocidal murderers. May this 4 year old boys death be avenged hundredfold.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
6 replies
ajt1025 August 22 2014 at 2:46 PM

Suprised to see that the press is talking about Israeli killed people now? What did they have a cnange of heart? Don't think so as the press we get is all one sided and it is for the Arabs like our Coward President.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
4 replies
renner1234 August 22 2014 at 2:20 PM

Once again Hamasa causing trouble.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
2 replies
riverboy19 renner1234 August 22 2014 at 5:13 PM

sounds like our usa congress..

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1 reply
Elliott riverboy19 August 22 2014 at 10:29 PM


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felbez renner1234 August 23 2014 at 12:21 PM


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