Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel will continue its current attacks on Gaza “as long as necessary.” The statement comes after a continued campaign of air strikes killed a 12-year-old boy in a refugee camp among many other Palestinians -- bringing the death toll up to roughly 18 in a period of 48 hours.
Agence France-Presse reports:
Three Palestinians, including a schoolboy, were killed on Sunday, raising the death toll from Israeli air strikes on Gaza to 18 in less than 48 hours, medics said.
The latest raid hit an area northeast of Gaza City, killing a 60-year-old man who medics said was a civilian, several hours after a strike slightly further north killed a 12-year-old boy in Jabaliya refugee camp.
The spike in violence erupted on Friday afternoon when an Israeli strike killed the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC).
It sparked a bloody cross-border exchange in which 15 Gazans were killed and more than 100 rockets fired at Israel on Friday and Saturday, marking the deadliest 24-hour period in the border area in more than three years. [...]
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Saturday he expected the violence to carry on for "another day or two," and Netanyahu said on Sunday that the air campaign would continue for "as long as necessary."
"We extracted a high price from them and will continue to do so," he said at the start of Israel's weekly cabinet meeting. "We will act as long as necessary."
The Guardian reports:
A further 26 Palestinians were injured, five seriously, in a string of Israeli air strikes, the Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya told the Palestinian news agency Maan. He named the dead child as Ayoub Useila, who was killed in Jabalia refugee camp in an air strike that also injured his seven-year-old cousin.
The weekend death and injury toll was the highest since Operation Cast Lead, Israel's three-week military assault on Gaza just over three years ago. [...]
The cycle began with the targeted assassination by Israel of a Palestinian militant who it says was planning an attack within Israel. Zuhair al-Qaissi, 49, the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), was killed along with his son-in-law Mahmoud Hanini, 44, when the car in which they were travelling was hit by a missile. A civilian bystander was seriously injured.
# # #