Skip to main content

Israeli airstrikes kill 16 in Gaza, Palestinian officials say

By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 7:20 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Sixteen Palestinians killed Sunday, Ministry of Health says
  • NEW: Some 117 rockets were fired at Israel on Sunday, Israel says
  • Israel targets Hamas financial leader, military says
  • Egypt destroys five tunnels under border with Gaza

(CNN) -- The recently renewed violence in the Mideast claimed more lives Sunday as Israeli strikes killed at least 16 people in Gaza and a Hamas attack on a border crossing wounded four Israeli civilians.

The 16 Palestinian victims included a mother and her three children in their home, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra.

One of the targets was Mohamed Al-Oul, who supervised Hamas' financial transactions, according to the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF said a "hit was confirmed."

The four Israelis were hit at the border crossing near the town of Erez. THe IDF tweeted that several rockets and mortars struck the checkpoint. One civilian was moderately wounded and three were injured, the IDF said, without elaborating on their conditions.

The civilians had come to the crossing to aid people needing humanitarian assistance, Israel's Ministry of Defense said in a written statement. The crossing remains closed.

Hamas said it fired 23 mortar shells at the site. At least 117 rockets were fired at Israel on Sunday, the IDF said via its Twitter account.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated before his weekly Cabinet meeting that airstrikes will continue and that Israel targets militants.

Palestinians in Gaza celebrate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Tuesday, August 26. After more than seven weeks of heavy fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to an open-ended ceasefire that puts off dealing with core long-term issues. Palestinians in Gaza celebrate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Tuesday, August 26. After more than seven weeks of heavy fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to an open-ended ceasefire that puts off dealing with core long-term issues.
Israel-Gaza crisis
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Israel-Gaza crisis Photos: Israel-Gaza crisis
Hamas executes 18 suspected informants
School attack leaves Gazan kids wounded
Gaza militant leader targeted

"The Hamas is paying and will pay a heavy price for the crimes it is carrying out. I call on the citizens of Gaza to leave every place that the Hamas is carrying out terror activity. Every place like this is a target for us. ... This is true on all fronts and for all countries," he said.

He compared Hamas to ISIS, the militant group that now calls itself the Islamic State.

"Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. They simply work in the same way. They are branches of the same poisonous tree," Netanyahu said.

Israel, the European Union and the United States consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

Al-Qidra told CNN that 92 people in Gaza have been killed since a ceasefire ended five days ago and more than 2,100 have died in this weekslong conflict.

There were other effects of the violence, which began in early July. The United Nations, which runs many schools in Gaza, said 500,000 children were unable to begin classes on Sunday. A spokesman for the Palestinian ministry of education said more than 100 government-run schools are closed while others are being used as shelters.

Fire from Syria

Also Sunday, the Israeli military said rockets from Syria hit various locations through the Golan Heights.

It was unclear who was responsible for the rockets from Syria or whether they had anything to do with Israel's ongoing fight with Hamas that has raged for weeks. The Golan Heights is under Israeli government control but is considered to be occupied territory by the international community.

The announcement came hours after a rocket from Lebanon struck an open area in northern Israel in a separate attack. No injuries were immediately reported in either of those attacks.

Last month, a rocket was fired into northern Israel from southern Lebanon, and the Israeli military responded with an artillery strike. At the time, Israel said it held the Lebanese government responsible for the attack.

Israel has waged an offensive in Gaza against the militant Palestinian group Hamas and the stream of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza. Hopes for a ceasefire appear dim despite calls from world leaders for the two sides to stop the violence.

During the offensive, Israel destroyed more than 30 concrete-lined tunnels that led from Gaza into Israel.

Sources, including one who witnessed an explosion, told CNN that the Egyptian army Sunday blew up five tunnels on the border with Gaza.

Hamas request

Hamas is urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to go before the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes.

The Palestinians are not currently under the jurisdiction of the ICC, but would be if they sign the court's Rome Statute, the treaty that established the court.

Back in May, a group of 17 human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, signed a letter to Abbas encouraging him to join the ICC.

The United States and Israel and some other nations have pressured Abbas not to take this step, arguing that it would harm peace talks.

Hamas' announcement comes a day after one of the group's leaders admitted that its militants were responsible for the abduction of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June.

Hamas Political Bureau member Saleh Aruri added that the kidnappers did not tell their leaders about the action. The kidnappings were not approved by Hamas leadership or its military wing, he said, stressing that this acknowledgment does not equate to a claim of responsibility.

The three teens were later found dead, sparking the violence that has raged since then.

READ: Israel's 'refusers': Why we too feel 'occupied'

READ: Gaza's zoo animals caught in crossfire

CNN's Ian Lee in Gaza and Michael Schwartz in Jerusalem, and Katia Hetter in Atlanta contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Tensions in the Middle East
Here's a look at some of the most serious conflicts involving Israel and its neighbors -- conflicts that have spanned more than six decades.
updated 11:17 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
A video released by ISIS shows the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and threatens the life of another American if President Obama doesn't end military operations in Iraq.
updated 5:04 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join his country's military.
updated 8:28 PM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
The sights at the Gaza zoo couldn't be sadder, after it was nearly destroyed during recent Israel-Hamas conflict.
updated 12:11 PM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Both Hamas and Israel have chosen conflict over real peace negotiations again and again in the past, writes Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann.
updated 11:05 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Mohammed Najib says Hamas' objectives also include ending its political isolation.
updated 6:07 PM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
With so many conflicts, on so many fronts, here's a quick look at what's happening.
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Sat July 5, 2014
Alan Elsner: How Israel reacts will be decisive turning point for both Israelis and Palestinians.
updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
The Israel-Gaza conflict impacts families on both sides. Karl Penhaul speaks to the family of a militant killed in Gaza.
updated 9:41 PM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014
A sense of Egypt's historic role and the traditional animosity of their military toward Islamist radicalism have propelled Egypt to take a central role in the on-off cease-fire talks.
updated 5:50 PM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014
If the Gaza truce holds and Israel's Operation Protective Edge comes to its conclusion, some things are certain.
updated 12:26 PM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014
CNN's Tim Lister says, to secure peace, Israel needs to offer Gazans a better future.
updated 4:35 PM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
Tensions between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been strained for years.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014
Images from the conflict between Israel and Hamas depict apparent civilians, caught in the middle.
updated 9:06 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
Hamas must be tamed through politics, not the failed strategy of war, argues Ed Husain.
updated 9:55 AM EDT, Mon August 4, 2014
It may have started as a TV debate about the Israel-Hamas conflict, but it's now turned into an online war of words.
updated 2:20 PM EDT, Mon August 4, 2014
Hamas' political leader, who lives in Qatar, sits down with CNN for an exclusive interview.
updated 6:43 AM EDT, Mon August 4, 2014
Nafoz Mohammed is living in a cramped two-room apartment with 16 other people, hours holed up in fear.
updated 12:54 AM EDT, Sun August 3, 2014
Karl Penhaul visits a destroyed section of Gaza and learns how the bombing has affected one student's aspirations.
updated 2:15 AM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
The birth of a child is normally a joyous occasion, but it is tinged by sadness and anxiety in Gaza. Ian Lee reports.
updated 1:24 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Amid the Gaza conflict, experts try to figure out who's in charge of "the resistance."
updated 6:10 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The opening was so small that CNN's Wolf Blitzer -- no physical giant -- had to bend down to climb inside.
Follow CNNArabic for the latest news and analysis from the Middle East and rest of the world.
ADVERTISEMENT