Death toll hits 100 as Gaza campaign enters 4th day

Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike on Friday, raising the toll in four days of violence to 100, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

"Two Palestinians were killed and a third was wounded in an Israeli strike that targeted a car belonging to the Bureij municipality," Qudra told AFP.

"This brings the number of martyrs since the beginning of the Israeli aggression to 100," he added.

Earlier, six Palestinians were killed in two strikes, including one on the home of an Islamic Jihad militant in the southern city of Rafah, medical sources said.

Witnesses said the militant, Abdel Razzaq al-Ghannam, was not home when the attack took place, but five other people, including a woman and a seven-year-old child, were killed.

Another 15 people were wounded in the strike, which came an hour after another raid on Gaza City's Tel el-Hawa neighbourhood that killed 33-year-old Anas Abu al-Kass.

The deaths raise to 100 the toll since Israel began Operation Protective Edge early Tuesday to halt cross-border rocket fire by militant groups.

Since then, militants have fired 426 mortars and rockets that struck Israel, while another 121 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system, an army spokeswoman said Friday.

It is the deadliest violence since November 2012, with a growing number of rockets fired at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and even as far north as Haifa.

So far, no Israelis have been killed.

However, a soldier was severely wounded in a mortar attack late Thursday, and another man was very seriously hurt when a rocket hit a petrol station in the southern port city of Ashdod early Friday.

Israel has also authorised the call-up of 40,000 reservist troops, and threatened a ground operation to stamp out the rocket fire.

sa-sah/hmw/al