Stepping up its escalations, Israeli warplanes bombarded Gaza city on Tuesday, June 13, killing at least eleven Palestinians, including three children, and wounding tens others in the deadliest air strike this year, bringing to more than 27 Palestinians killed in less than a week.
Witnesses said an Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a car of three Islamic Jihad members in the eastern outskirts of Gaza City causing it to crash into the pavement, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Two of the Islamic Jihad members, Hammudeh al-Wadyeh, 25, and Shawqi al-Saiqali, also in his 20s, were killed as a result, Khaled al-Batch, a top group official, told AFP. The third man was injured.
Nine civilians, including three children, were killed and 42 injured when a third Israeli missile struck as onlookers gathered on the scene, witnesses and medical sources said.
The civilians included two brothers, 4-year-old Hisham and 8-year-old Shaher al-Mugrabi, and their father Ashraf, said Jumaa al-Saqaa, a doctor at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza treating the wounded.
An ambulance driver, Mussa Nasrallah, was also killed, he said.
The Israeli army claimed the car "was loaded with Katyushas," referring to the Russian-made rocket launcher.
Tuesday's deaths bring to 5,105 the number of people, mostly Palestinians, who have been killed since the start of Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, according to an AFP count.
"What Israel is doing is called state terrorism," said Abbas.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swiftly condemned the Israeli strike as "state terrorism" and called on the international community to intervene.
"What Israel is doing is called state terrorism," he told reporters at his office in Gaza.
"This state terrorism will not shake us."
Earlier his spokesman said the Palestinian leader called on the international community to "intervene immediately to put an end to the Israeli aggression and escalation."
Israel appeared unrepentant.
"We have been showing restraint due to the international storm caused by the incident on the Gaza beach -- but no longer," Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz was quoted by the YNet news website as telling reporters in northern Israel.
Israeli shelling killed seven Palestinians on Friday, June 9, while enjoying a picnic on a beach in northern Gaza.
Peretz had sent a message to Abbas voicing "deep regret at the deaths of innocent people".
But the Israeli army has refused to accept responsibility for the strike, saying an investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights based in Gaza City, has expressed its concern at the escalation of Israeli attacks in the occupied territories.
A rights group says Israeli
Israeli forces planes resumed causing sonic boom in the skies of the Gaza Strip on June 10.
"These attacks cause widespread fear among civilians, especially children, and cause material damage to property," the PCHRC said.
The PCHRC "calls upon the international community to act immediately to stop these crimes, renewing the call to the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations to guarantee the protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories".