A pregnant Palestinian and her three-year-old daughter have reportedly been killed east of Gaza City on Sunday 11 October. The mother and daughter died when their house collapsed following an Israeli air strike on an alleged Hamas military training camp near their home.
Three other people were also injured in the attack. Palestinian rescue services are continuing to search through the rubble for survivors.
The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) said that the air strikes were launched in response to a rocket fired from Gaza. They said that the rocket was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defence system and that they had then conducted air strikes on two Hamas weapon-manufacturing facilities in Gaza.
Following the death of the mother and her daughter, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, an army spokesman for the Israeli army, said: "The IDF holds Hamas responsible for any act of aggression from the Gaza Strip."
During the Israeli air strikes people in Gaza were tweeting pictures of what was happening, with many fearing for their lives. Journalist Mohammed Omer tweeted that the woman who had been killed was named 30-year-old Noor Hassan, and she was five months pregnant. Her injured family members had been taken to Shifa hospital.
Israel: Photo, Israeli jets bombing Gaza terror sites following rocket fire into southern Israel earlier tonight pic.twitter.com/Bs07MIvfC2
— Yiddish News (@YiddishNews) October 10, 2015
Israel just struck Gaza with missiles that caused huge explosions and shook the building and woke the kids. israel lives off terror
— Gaza Writes Back (@ThisIsGaZa) October 10, 2015
The two civilian deaths come amid heightened violence between the Israelis and Palestinians over the last few weeks. On Saturday, 10 October, a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli police after stabbing two civilians. The day before that Israeli military forces killed five Palestinians and injured 19 others at a demonstration near the border fence with the Gaza Strip.
The violence was fuelled by clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, one of Islam's holiest sites. Palestinians fear that Israel is attempting to take control of the site as Jewish groups began visiting the mosque.
Earlier this month 50 Muslim men were barred from entering the mosque for Friday prayers as Israel attempted to increase security. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he is committed to maintaining the status quo with Palestine, and has banned his ministers from visiting the site.