Israeli airstrike massacre kills eight people from one family
Two children were among the casualties and their bodies were pulled out of the rubble of the destroyed home.
The airstrike massacre took place shortly before an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad movement went into place in the Gaza Strip.
The official spokesman of Gaza's Health Ministry, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, tweeted that the airstrike on the Sawarka family's home had brought the death toll from a two-day Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip to 34.
A total of 111 people were also injured over the past two days, according to the Health Ministry.
Israel admitted responsibility for the strike, which was carried out by an F-16 plane. Avichay Adraee, a spokesman for the Israeli army said that the strikes targeted a member of the Sawarka family who was a commander in the Islamic Jihad movement.
In an Arabic-language tweet Adraee said, "Rasmi Abu Malhous [Sawarka], a leader of Islamic Jihad and the commander of the rocket unit in the central brigade was killed last night in an airstrike on Deir Al-Balah."
The deadly two-day escalation in the Gaza Strip began when an Israeli airstrike assassinated Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata on Tuesday morning, prompting retaliatory rocket fire towards Israel from Islamic Jihad. Dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed in further Israeli strikes.
An Egyptian official said on Thursday morning that the current ceasefire "comes as a result of Egypt's efforts" and was endorsed by "Palestinian factions including Islamic Jihad".