( dpa ) - Ten Palestinians were killed and 20 were wounded Saturday morning by Israeli rocket fire and a brief ground incursion into the northern Gaza Strip, medics and Hamas police sources said.
Mo'aweya Hassanein, chief of emergency and ambulance services in the Ministry of Health told reporters that three children were among the dead, east of Jabalia town in the northern Gaza Strip.
All were killed in air and ground strikes by rockets and shells, Hassanein said. Hamas police sources said that Israeli aircraft carried out three airstrikes on northern Gaza Strip, which were followed by a short ground incursion into the area of Jabalia.The sources said that several tanks and armored vehicles backed by attack helicopters stormed Abu Safeyya and al-Kashef neighborhoods amid intensive shelling and airstrikes.
According to Hassanein, Israeli aircraft and Israeli tanks launched rockets and shells at residential homes in the area, adding that ambulances were not able to get there due to the intensive strikes.
Since Wednesday, 44 Palestinians have been killed and 130 wounded in Israeli strikes, Hassanein said.
Israel has vowed to strike Gaza militants who have launched a barrage of homemade rockets at southern Israeli towns and communities, and the two sides have escalated their attacks since Wednesday.
Witnesses said that one of the rockets Saturday morning hit a civilian house, killing two children, Jaclyn Abu Shbak, 12, and her brother Mohamed, in addition to another 45-year-old resident called Bassam Obied.
Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the radical group Islamic Jihad (Holy War) said that one of its militants was killed in an Israeli airstrike that targeted a group of militants in al-Kashef neighborhood, adding that two more militants were injured.
Another militant, member of Hamas' armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on his car east of Jabalia, the group said in a leaflet.