Palestinian Rocket Misfires, Kills Two Girls in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A crude rocket fired by Palestinian militants fell short of its target in Israel on Friday, striking a house in the northern Gaza Strip and killing two schoolgirls.

The attack came as Israel sent mixed signals over its plans to respond to continuing Palestinian rocket fire. Israeli defense officials say politicians have approved a large-scale incursion into the territory once rainy conditions clear. But at the same time, Israel appeared receptive to international pressure against an invasion, opening the Gaza border Friday to allow in deliveries of humanitarian aid.

None of Gaza’s militant factions claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on the house in Beit Lahiya. Gaza Health Ministry official Dr. Moiaya Hassanain said the two victims, ages 5 and 12, were cousins. Three other children were wounded, he said.

The girls were the first Palestinian civilians inadvertently killed by militants since their truce with Israel began collapsing six weeks ago. Family members and medics said they were killed by rocket fire.

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