Israeli fire hit a house in the Gaza Strip on Monday while a family was eating breakfast inside, killing four Palestinian children and their mother, residents and medical officials said.
An unidentified adult was also killed in the home in Beit Hanoun, on the northern Gaza border. Separately, Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian gunman from Islamic Jihad during fighting in the town, the faction said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed troops were operating in Beit Hanoun.
The Israeli air force and a tank unit fired at groups of gunmen that tried to approach troops in the town but no houses were "targeted", the spokeswoman said.
Residents said an Israeli projectile smashed through the ceiling of a one-storey house where a family was having breakfast, killing four children -- siblings whose ages ranged from 1-1/2 to 5 years old -- and a man who could not immediately be identified.
The children's mother was also killed.
"They were eating and they were hit," a neighbor said.
"The continued Zionist massacres are new proof that the Occupation (Israel) is not interested in calm, and therefore Palestinian armed wings should continue to respond to the aggression by all possible means," Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said.
Hamas said one of its snipers shot an Israeli soldier in Beit Hanoun. The military spokeswoman said a soldier was slightly wounded by gunfire before the air force strikes.
Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2008, 13:05