Israel Destroys Mosque, Hamas Homes

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 2, 2009 9:05 AM CST
A Palestinian reacts as he and others carry the body of one of the children of Hamas leader Nizar Rayan, who was killed yesterday in an Israeli airstrike with 4 of his wives and 10 of his children.    (KHALIL HAMRA)
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(Newser) – Israel bombed a mosque it says was used to store weapons and destroyed the homes of more than a dozen Hamas operatives today, the seventh day of a blistering offensive in Gaza. In what appeared to be a new Israeli tactic, the military called at least some of the houses ahead of time to warn inhabitants of an impending attack. In some cases, it also fired a sound bomb to warn away civilians before flattening the homes.

In airstrike after airstrike early today, Israeli warplanes hit some 20 houses believed to belong to Hamas militants and members of other armed groups, Palestinians said. More than 400 Gazans have been killed and some 1,700 have been wounded in the Israeli campaign, Gaza health officials said. Three Israeli civilians and one soldier have also died in the rocket attacks, which have reached deeper into Israel than ever before.