Twelve Palestinian civilians, among them a baby were killed on Thursday midday as an explosion ripped through a house in Beit Lahyia town located in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Witnesses said that the explosion left a house comprised of their apartments totally destroyed. Medical sources said that 12 were killed, among them Nur Hamudah, four months old and another three men; 40 other civilians were injured at least 6 of them in critical condition, Dr. Mo'awiah Hassanen, of the Palestinian Ministry of health in Gaza reported.

The Hamas movement said that Israeli F16's shelled the house which belongs to a leader of the movement armed wing Al Qassam Brigades. The movement identified the owner of the house as Kaled Hamoudah.

Meanwhile the Israeli army denied any responsibility and said that the house was destroyed because the Hamas fighter had bombs stored there.

Dr. Hassnin added that the number of dead may increase since rescue teams are still evacuating injured civilians.