Latest Israeli airstrikes kill four Palestinians, injure 10 – Medics

GAZA – At least four Palestinians were killed and 10 others injured on Monday in a series of fresh intensive Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, Xinhua News Agency reported quoting medical sources and eyewitnesses.

The sources said Israeli fighter jets struck the roof of a nine-floor building in the centre of Gaza city, killing two people, including a man and an 11-year-old girl, and injuring five others in the building.

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Besides fighter jets, Israel also used naval gunship vessels and artillery stationed on the borders with eastern Gaza against dozens of targets across the besieged coastal enclave, according to eyewitnesses.

Another two Palestinians, a man and his wife, were killed by an Israeli artillery shell that landed near their house in the northern Gaza Strip, while five pedestrians were injured, the medical sources said.

The tension and ensuing tit-for-tat trade of fire between Israel and the groups led by Hamas in Gaza have lasted about eight days.

Israeli and Palestinian media outlets reported that the groups in Gaza continued firing barrages of rockets toward the cities and towns in central and southern Israel.

Abu Obeida, masked spokesman of Hamas’ armed wing, warned Israel in a short text message that they will avenge the Israeli targeting of civilians’ homes in Gaza.

“The criminal Zionist enemy intensified its bombing of safe houses, so we warn the enemy that if it does not immediately stop, we will re-bomb Tel Aviv and put it in the range of our rockets again,” he said.

The health ministry in Gaza said in an official statement that 204 Palestinians, including 59 children and 35 women, have been killed and 1,305 others wounded in the ongoing fighting between Gaza and Israel.

Special prayers

Malaysia stood in solidarity yesterday, praying for the safety and well-being of the Palestinian people facing oppression from Israel’s Zionist regime.

The special ‘Solat Hajat’ prayers were held after the Magrib prayer simultaneously in several states, in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

In KUALA LUMPUR, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah performed the congregational prayers with 40 people comprising officers and staff of the Istana Negara at Surau Utama Istana Negara, here.

The prayers were also performed at major mosques including Masjid Negara and Masjid Wilayah in the capital as well as Masjid Putra in Putrajaya.

The prayer for peace touched the hearts of the congregation members, with some even seen shedding tears.

In PERAK, checks at Masjid Al-Ansar, Bandar Meru Raya, Ipoh, saw a congregation of about 40 members performing the prayers.

The congregants were allowed to enter the mosque grounds as early as 7 pm, and the gates were closed as soon as the Azan (call to prayer) began, to limit the number of people present.

In SARAWAK, most mosques and surau in the state held the prayers in line with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree yesterday to perform the prayers nationwide.

Those present at Masjid Bandaraya Kuching also listened to a brief ‘tazkirah’ (religious speech) on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the third-most holy site for Muslims.

In JOHOR BAHRU, about 200 members of the congregation performed the special prayers as well as the recitation of surah Yasin at the Masjid Sultan Iskandar Bandar Dato Onn for the well-being of the Muslim community in Palestine.

Meanwhile, in PENANG, the Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAIPP) issued a circular to 800 mosques and surau in the state to perform the prayers.

In PAHANG, Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail was among 50 members of the congregation who joined in the prayers at Masjid Negeri Sultan Ahmad 1.

The Pahang state government also donated RM250,000 to the Palestinian cause.

Donations to reach beneficiaries

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri meanwhile said that the government will cooperate with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in delivering humanitarian aid to Palestinians, to ensure the donations collected reach the right beneficiaries and use the right channels.

He said several measures were being drawn up to ensure smooth cooperation and for the humanitarian mission to succeed.

“We will do the best we can. Insya-Allah, we will plan on how to increase aid to the Palestinian people, especially those who have lost their homes and are in need of medical treatment.

“We will call them (NGOs) to discuss the matter and for them be our strategic partners, to ensure that the assistance reaches the beneficiaries,” he told reporters after leading ‘solat hajat’ (prayer of need) for the safety of the Palestinian people at Masjid Jamek Ibnu Khaldun here, yesterday.

Zulkifli also delivered a special ‘tazkirah’ to give awareness of the importance of Jerusalem to Islam.