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gaza attack

(AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Israel’s military is investigating “harm caused to civilians” from an air strike it launched in Gaza.

According to Palestinian medics, eight members of one family died in the strike, among them five children.

However, Israel said the attack targeted the home of Rasmi Abu Malhous, who it called a militant commander from the group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Israel said no civilians were expected to be in harm’s way.

The Deir al-Balah attack, in central Gaza, was the deadliest episode in a two-day exchange of fire between Israel and the Palestinian group.

The attack took place on November 14, shortly before a fragile ceasefire came into effect.

On November 16, Israeli air raids struck Hamas targets for the first time in the latest violence.

Israel’s military originally insisted that the head of the family, who it said was killed, was a commander of a PIJ rocket-launching unit.

It now says the information about his identity is not certain and is being reviewed.

Islamic Jihad did not comment on whether Rasmi Abu Malhous was a member.

Gaza Violence: Ceasefire Agreed as Four Israelis and 23 Palestinians Were Killed

Israel Targets Hamas Sites in Gaza in Retaliation for Rocket Strikes

On November 16, Israel says its air defenses intercepted two rockets fired from Gaza at the southern Israeli city of Beersheva.

In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said they struck “Hamas terror targets” in Gaza. Hamas’ al-Aqsa TV reported a naval facility and a site in Beit Lahia being hit.

Up till now, Israel has avoided targeting Hamas, which controls the Palestinian territory.

Fighting flared after Israel killed a PIJ commander in the early hours of November 12.

Israel said the commander, Baha Abu al-Ata, was a “ticking bomb” who was behind a planned imminent attack and responsible for recent rocket-fire from Gaza.

More than 450 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel, and several waves of air strikes carried out on Gaza in two days of violence.