Both Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas-linked Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya in Gaza, condemned on Monday the latest Israeli military escalation in northern Gaza, in which a mother and her four children were killed.
President Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted by media outlets as saying ‘ such an attack does not serve underway efforts for calm and does stand as an obstacle towards peace’.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister of the ruling Hamas party in Gaza , Ismail Haniya echoed the same reaction, branding the Israeli army attack on Monday as ‘ a massacre’ that reflects the real face of the Israeli occupation and its repeated attempts to foil underway regional and international moves towards ending the hostilities’.

In a statement, faxed to press, the prime minister went onto saying ‘ we have followed up very closely the Monday morning massacre of civilians, in which 7 of our people, including a mother and her four children were killed. This definitely reflects the atrocious Israeli mentality , which totally disregards civilian lives’.

The Hamas-run Palestinian interior ministry, from its part, denounced the latest Israeli military escalation on the ground.

Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, held Hamas responsible for the Monday killings, saying that Hamas fights from among the civilian populations.

Israeli media sources said that the Israeli army is set to carry on investigations into the today’s civilian deaths in Gaza

The Israeli tanks fired volleys of sporadic heavy ammunition towards the residential houses in northern Gaza Strip, killing seven Palestinians including a mother and her four children.

The army attack on Gaza comes few days after the ruling Hamas party submitted a ceasefire offer to Egyptians, stating halt of resistance attacks in return for lifting the Israeli blockade and stopping the army attacks on the coastal enclave.

Israel’s initial response to the offer was outspoken last Friday by the Israeli government’s spokesman, David Baker, who described the initiative as ‘ a maneuver by Hamas to rearm and reorganize’, expressing the belief that Hamas is ‘ playing games’.