OPT: Three Palestinian paramedics killed by airstrike in Gaza

GAZA, Jan 04, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) - Mo'aweya Hassanein, chief of emergency and ambulance services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, said that three more Palestinian paramedics were killed by Israeli airstrike on Sunday evening.

Hassanein said the three were rescuing the injured inside a house, which was damaged in southern Gaza City, where another airstrike took place, killing the paramedics.

Also on Sunday, another Palestinian paramedic was killed while Israeli warplane targeted an ambulance in west Gaza City.

Earlier on Sunday evening, five Palestinians were killed and 10 others were wounded in an Israeli airstrike targeting a mosque near Jabaria, northern Gaza Strip, witness and medical sources said.

On Sunday afternoon, a series of Israeli airstrikes killed six Palestinians inside Gaza City on Sunday afternoon, including a family, the mother and her four children, and the aforementioned Palestinian paramedic.

According to Hassanein, at least 50 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched ground operation against Gaza Strip less than 24 hours ago.

He added that there could be more fatalities because the ambulances and medical crews could not reach some of the areas that are under heavy Israeli fire.

Hassanein said that since Israel started its massive military attack on Gaza, the death toll among Palestinians has exceed 500, and he believed the number could reach 520 by Sunday evening.

Israel is carrying out both airstrikes and ground operation across Gaza Strip. Israeli troops entered Gaza Strip following eight days of intensive air raids, targeting buildings including mosques, houses and Hamas security installations.