The mother of a four-year-old Israel boy killed by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip has called for calm on both sides and declared: “I just want peace.”
In an emotional interview with the website BuenosAiresHerald.com, Gila Tregerman said her son Daniel’s death was the result of “an unnecessary war.”
Ronit Minaker, a close family friend, told the website: “The only ones who can reach an agreement which will bring peace to both parts are our leaders, and I hope they will have the courage to make a deal which will allow a normal life for children like Daniel.”
In response to the attack, Israeli airstrikes levelled a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a two-storey shopping centre in the Gaza Strip.
The strikes in the southern town of Rafah came just hours after Israel bombed an apartment tower in Gaza City, collapsing the 12-storey building with 44 apartments.
The targeting of large buildings appears to be part of a new military tactic by Israel. Over the weekend, the army began warning Gaza residents in automated phone calls that it would target buildings harbouring “terrorist infrastructure” and that they should stay away.
A senior military official confirmed that Israel has a policy of striking at buildings containing Hamas operational centres or those from which military activities are launched. The official said each strike required prior approval from military lawyers and is carried out only after the local population is warned.
However, he said, there was now a widening of locations that the military can target.
Meanwhile, Gaza terrorists continued to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel, including at least 10 on Sunday, the military said. That was in addition to more than 100 on Saturday, most aimed at southern Israel.
Elsewhere, five rockets were fired from Syria and fell in open areas in northern Israel. It was not immediately clear whether they were fired by pro-government forces or rebel groups.
Amid persistent violence, Egypt has urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume indirect talks in Cairo on a durable ceasefire, but stopped short of issuing invitations.
Several rounds of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas have collapsed, along with temporary ceasefires that accompanied them. The gaps betweenIsrael and the Islamic militant group on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza remain vast, and there is no sign either is willing to budge.
The Israeli military said it had carried out some 20 strikes on Gaza since midnight on Saturday.
In Rafah, Israeli aircraft bombed the seven-storey Zourab building, which houses an office of the Hamas-run interior ministry. Witnesses said the building was levelled and that the strikes caused severe damage to nearby shops, homes and cars.