Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at an economic conference in Jerusalem that he instructed the Israeli army to resume the targeted killing policy against resistance fighters in the Palestinian territories despite the large number of civilian casualties, including children, who died in recent Israeli military assaults.
Olmert said that the associations will not stop and “apologize” for civilian death and threatened to continue shelling Gaza and targeting resistance fighters there.
During his meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a conference in Jordan Thursday, Olmert said he felt "regret" over the civilian deaths, a source in the Olmert’s office said. Yet, he vowed to continue the targeted killing policy.
The latest civilian causualties was a pregnant Palestinian women and her brother who were killed and fourteen civilians, including children were injured when the Israeli army targeted a vehicle carrying resistance fighters in the southern part of the Gaza Strip Wednesday night.
The missile fired by an Israeli air craft “missed its target” and hit a Palestinian house. The dead and wounded were all members of the same family.
The civilians killed was identified as 37-year-old Fatima Al Barbarwi, who was seven months pregnant, and her brother, a 45-year-old doctor named Zakariya Ahmad who was visiting his sister from Saudi Arabia.
The family had settled down for the evening meal when they were hit by the missile. A pool of blood marked the floor in their kitchen.
Israeli military officials release a statement saying the civilian casualties were caused by “human or technical error."
On Tuesday, three Palestinian children were killed in an Israeli air strike that targeted members of the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh movement in Gaza city. The fighters were unharmed.
The children killed in Tuesday’s strike, 5-year-old Mohammed Roka, his 6 year old sister Nadia al-Sharif, and 16-year-old Bilal al-Hassa – were buried in Gaza on Wednesday morning. Seven other children were among the injured, one seriously.
On June 9 Israeli air force and Navy gunships fired missiles at the Gaza Beach in Al Soudaniyya area, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, killing ten residents, including women and children, after shelling the beach from ground, sea and air. At least forty residents were injured in the attack. Most of the injured are children playing on the beach.
Eight brothers and sisters, along with their father, were among the casualties when the Israeli Naval force fired two shells towards families vacationing at the beach.
Israeli Commander Major General Elyezer Shkedy said on Thursday that the army carries out daily attacks in Gaza, and that the air operations “are nearly the only way to operate in there. the other option is a land operation, and we must do everything possible to avoid that”.