GAZA (Reuters) – An Israeli air strike aimed at the home of a suspected militant in the Gaza Strip wounded seven people from surrounding houses early on Tuesday, local residents said.
The strike came less than an hour after the army called to tell the owner of the house that it would be hit and that the occupants had half an hour to leave. Medics said the wounded had varying degrees of injuries.
The army said the strike had been aimed at a building where munitions belonging to the Islamic Jihad militant group were produced and stored.
Israel has killed around 121 Palestinians in a nearly month-long offensive in Gaza to force militants to release a captured soldier and halt rocket fire on Israeli cities.
The house owner, Omar al-Mamlouk who is not known to have any affiliation with militants, denied that any of the other people in the three-story house belonged to a militant faction.
“I received a phone call 45 minutes before the house was attacked and the caller said (in Arabic), ‘We are the Israeli Defense Forces, you have half an hour to evacuate the house.’,” Mamlouk told a local radio station.
On Monday, Israeli shells killed six people and wounded several others in the Gaza Strip, including two members of the same family who were traveling on a donkey cart when they were hit, Palestinian witnesses said.
The army said it warned residents to leave the buildings before the air strikes to try to avoid civilian casualties by distributing leaflets from the air and through telephone calls directly to the house owners.