GAZA CITY: Israeli air strikes pounded Gaza yesterday, killing at least 16 people, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the offensive would continue as long as necessary.
One of the air strikes killed Hamas financial official Mohammed Al Ghul as he was travelling by car in Gaza City, Israel’s army said. Gaza medics confirmed the death. A later strike on northern Gaza killed a mother and four children from the same family, medics said, as the day’s death toll reached at least 16, including six children.
“Operation Protective Edge will continue until its aims are achieved... It may take time,” Netanyahu said of the offensive launched on July 8. Israel yesterday carried out 27 strikes while more than 120 rockets were fired from Gaza, including one intercepted over Jerusalem.
At a special cabinet session at the defence ministry in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu repeated his warning of harsh retribution for the death of a four-year-old Israeli child on Friday in a rocket strike on a kibbutz near the Gaza border.
“Hamas is paying, and will continue to pay, a heavy price for the crimes it carries out,” he said. “I call on residents of Gaza to immediately leave any structure from which Hamas carries out terror activity against us. All such sites are a target for us.”