Mother and daughter killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza

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An Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian woman who was five-month pregnant and her 2-year-old daughter.

Four other members of the woman’s family were injured when their home collapsed in Gaza City’s Zaytoon neighbourhood, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said.

The Israeli military said it targeted two weapons workshops after Palestinian militants launched a missile at the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system.

In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 55 Palestinians were injured by live ammunition and another 77 by rubber bullets in clashes with Israeli security forces, Palestinian medics said. They threw petrol bombs and rocks and burnt tires.

Later on Sunday, an Arab Israeli man got out of his car on a road north of Tel Aviv and stabbed bystanders, injuring four, police said.

A 19-year-old Israeli woman was in serious condition and a 14-year-old was moderately injured.

Some 20 per cent of Israel’s 8-million population are Arabs.

Earlier, a Palestinian woman was severely injured at a checkpoint outside Jerusalem. Police said she drove in a stolen car on a lane designated for public transport, shouted “God is Great,” upon which an explosion occurred and her car caught fire.

An officer who approached her car suffered light burns. Police suspected an attempted suicide bombing and said she detonated a gas canister in the car.

At least 23 Palestinians, including six who were shot dead after stabbing Israeli civilians, have been killed during 11 days of violence. Four Israelis were killed over the same period.

Some 1,000 more have been injured.

The last 10 days have witnessed a dozen knife attacks against Israelis.

Palestinians have also hurled petrol bombs and rocks at Israeli civilian cars and security forces.

The protests have also spread to Arab population centres in Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will call up hundreds of border policemen to help restore order.

His cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved a bill to impose tougher sentences for those who throw stones and petrol bombs.

It would also impose fines on the parents of minors who participate in stone and petrol bomb-throwing, a government official told dpa.

Arab Israeli lawmakers have postponed a visit planned for Sunday to a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem.

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