Israel-Gaza conflict: Netanyahu vows to intensify operations after death of Israeli boy

The retaliation comes as Hamas rejects Isis comparisons and says that journalist James Foley's death was execution "in a brutal manner"

Israel is stepping up its assault on Hamas in retaliation for the death of an Israeli child killed in a mortar attack yesterday.

Four-year-old Daniel Tragerman became the first Israeli child to be killed, after Hamas launched strikes on a southern Israeli village close to the Gaza border.

A spokesman for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ofir Gendelman, made a statement on Twitter on last night which said that the PM “sends his condolences to the family of the four-year-old boy that was killed this afternoon by a mortar round fired by Hamas.

“Hamas will pay a heavy price for this attack. IDF [Israel Defence Forces] & ISA [Israel Securities Authority] will intensify ops against Hamas until the goal of #ProtectiveEdge is achieved

Mr Gendelman then said that Hamas had launched the mortar round from adjacent to a shelter currently used by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), but later retracted this and confirmed it was a shelter used by Hamas.

 

A spokesman for UNRWA, Chris Gunness, strongly denied that one of its facilities had been used in the attack.

At least four people were killed in Gaza on Friday, Palestinians officials say, pushing the death toll further over the 2,000 mark.

Most of the Palestinian death toll has been civilian, including 320 under the age of 12, UN figures show. On the Israeli side, 68 have now been killed, most of whom were soldiers.

Friday also saw 18 alleged spies gunned down in Gaza in a crackdown on those who collaborate with Israel, which was also in response to the killing of three top Hamas military commanders the day before.

READ MORE: Mortar attack kills 4-year-old boy in Israel
Israel is using precision targeting to kill its enemies
Hamas says 18 suspected collaborators executed

The latest threat of further violence by the Israeli government comes as Hamas signs a pledge to back any Palestinian effort to join the International Criminal Court.

Confirmed by two senior Hamas officials, the move could expose Israel as well as Hamas to war crimes investigations.

Israel also accuses Hamas of being no different to Isis: "Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas", Mr Netanyahu is quoted as saying.

On the PM's official Twitter account, an graphic had been posted showing slain American journalist James Foley - who died at the hands of Isis militants - to equate it with Hamas. The tweet was later removed and replaced with one showing a different image.

Hamas spokesman Izzat al-Rishq criticised the move: "The attempt by Netanyahu and his spokesman Ofir Gendelman to link Hamas and compare us with other groups is a deception and disinformation campaign that will not fool anyone," he is quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying.

"We strongly condemn and reject how Netanyahu, Gendelman and the Israeli media exploit the picture of the slain American journalist James Foley who was executed in a brutal manner.

"We condemn the low and cheap use of this image without any respect for the sanctity of the dead."

The latest bout of strikes follows the collapse of Egypt-brokered ceasefire talks, in which Hamas said it would only halt fire is both Israel and Egypt agree to lift the blockage and allow trade and travel through Gaza’s borders.

Israel says it cannot agree to that unless Hamas agrees to disarm and stops trying to smuggle or manufacture weapons.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Events Consultant

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has arisen for an ex...

Recruitment Genius: Injection Moulding Supervisor

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Busy moulding company requires ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Advisor - £35,000 OTE

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Advisor is required to ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor / Contact Centre Advisor

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As the UK's leading accident an...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003