She spoke as Israel yesterday unleashed fresh air strikes across the border. Two high-rise buildings, believed to house Palestinian militants were hit. And Hamas and other groups bombarded southern Israel with more than 400 rockets. Terrified families on both sides told the Daily Express they are praying for the bloodshed to end as the conflict escalates relentlessly. Samira Al-Masry, whose two children were killed while playing in the street on Monday, said: “I heard a huge explosion and screaming.
“My neighbour told me that my kids were injured. I went to hospital and I found their bodies.
“They were not involved in military activity. Gaza has become the land of death, not just because of war but because of poverty and other crises.
“I will never see them again. I would rather Israel kill me. I cannot see an end to this suffering.”
Since Monday, 28 Palestinians – including nine children and a woman – have been killed in Gaza, mostly by air strikes, officials said. The Israeli military claimed at least 16 of the dead were militants, including the head of Islamic Jihad’s rocket unit, Samih al-Mamluk.
The Israeli Defence Force said militants were firing “one rocket every three minutes” yesterday.
Tel Aviv said it hit 150 targets in Gaza in response.
Meanwhile, two Israelis were killed in a barrage on Ashkelon while a third person was in a critical condition according to Israeli paramedics. A rocket also hit an empty school in the southern town.
Last night Tel Aviv came under fire from rockets launched from the Gaza Strip leaving at least one person dead, according to local media.
The violence followed weekend clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian demonstrators at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem – a major religious site in both Islam and Judaism. Protesters were angry at the potential eviction of Palestinians from land claimed by Jewish settlers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to hit Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip harder and faster.
The military is sending troop reinforcements to the border and the defence minister ordered the mobilisation of 5,000 reserve soldiers.
Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, of the Israel Defence Force, said: “We take every effort to avoid killing non-combatants – but can’t confirm or deny yet whether Israeli strikes have hit civilians.”
Israel and Hamas, an Islamic militant group that seeks Israel’s destruction, have fought three wars and had numerous skirmishes since 2007. Noor, 33, from Gaza City, has had enough. She said: “Like any mother, all I want is safety for my children and some peace. There is a lot of trauma on both sides. More than tens of years of escalation – but it’s the civilians caught in the middle.
“We feel like we don’t have anything to protect us, no shelters or authority to help our needs when these attacks take place.”
Kinneret Edleman, 38, lives four miles from the Gaza border in Jea.
She said: “We live under constant threat of rockets coming from Gaza.
“My eldest son reacts with panic – he won’t go to the bathroom on his own or eat. When they send explosive balloons over the border for kids to pick up, how can you even tell a child not to touch a balloon?”