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Israeli Airstrikes in the Gaza Strip Kill Pregnant Woman and Her Toddler

The woman and her three-year-old daughter reportedly died when their home collapsed after Israeli aircraft bombed two suspected Hamas weapons manufacturing sites.
Photo by Mohammed Saber/EPA

Palestinian medical officials said a pregnant woman and her toddler were killed on Sunday when Israeli aircraft bombed two suspected Hamas weapons manufacturing sites in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Israeli Defense Forces, the airstrikes were launched in response to rockets that were fired hours earlier. The woman, identified as Noor Hassan, reportedly lived next door to the targets, and she and her three-year-old daughter died when their house collapsed from the impact.


Videos emerged of a victim's body arriving at a hospital in the Zeitoun neighborhood east of Gaza city. A Gaza Health Ministry spokesman said that four members of Hassan's family were also injured in the bombing.

Hamas responded to the bombing incident by warning Israel against "foolishness."

"This shows the occupation's desire to escalate," Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP. "We warn the occupation against continuing this foolishness."

Elsewhere in Israel on Sunday, police claimed they foiled a car bomb attack when they pulled over a Palestinian woman driving into Jerusalem from the West Bank. The woman reportedly shouted "God is great," and detonated an explosive device when an officer approached. Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital said she suffered burns to 40 percent of her body, and that the police officer also was hurt.

"We have no doubt the woman terrorist who drove the vehicle intended to reach Jerusalem," Rafi Cohen, an Israeli police commander, told Reuters.

An Israeli security source told Reuters that gas canisters were found in the woman's car, but another source in the Palestinian security services claimed there had been "a malfunction in her car, and there was no bombing."

Related: Two Palestinians Killed After Another Stabbing and Fresh Clashes in Jerusalem

Palestinian medical officials also said that 37 Palestinian protesters were wounded by live gunfire from Israeli troops during clashes on Sunday in the West Bank.

Four Israelis and 23 Palestinians have died in the last 12 days in a spate of violence partly fueled by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish access to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Violence has spread from the holy city and the Israeli-occupied West Bank to Israel's interior and Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned that there would be no "quick fix" to the rising tensions, and said there was no sign of any significant moves to turn away from conflict that has raised fears of a third Palestinian uprising.

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Reuters contributed to this report.