Judaism and Islam both have the Law of Retaliation: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". Bloodshed will never end. Jesus came to perfect the Law. "But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well." -Matthew 5:38. Please pray for our elder brethren (Jews) and our younger brethren (Muslims) that they may finally find God in peace (Shalom-Salam). -CD2000
By Adel Zaanoun, AFP
RAFAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Israeli planes killed seven Palestinians and wounded another six in Gaza Friday in retaliation for suspected Islamist militants killing eight Israelis near the Egyptian border.
Two of the Gaza dead were members of the Popular Resistance Committees, a radical Islamist group that Israel blames for Thursday's fatal ambushes in the southern Negev desert. Two more were from Islamic Jihad.
The Israeli military promised to probe the deaths of five Egyptian policemen killed the previous day as its forces pursued the militants in the frontier zone.
Egyptian officials said that Cairo had complained to Israel over the incident and Prime Minister Essam Sharaf vowed Egyptian blood would not be "spilled unanswered."
While Israeli aircraft pounded Gaza on Friday, Palestinians fired a steady hail of rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel, at least 25 since the start of the day, the military said.
Three Israelis were wounded in the city of Ashdod, police said.
As the cross-border violence ratcheted up, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas sought United Nations pressure on Israel to stop the Gaza raids, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said.
"Abbas asked for an emergency session of the UN Security Council to demand a halt to the Israeli attacks on Gaza," Erakat told AFP.
Shortly before midnight (2100 GMT) on Friday an Israeli aircraft hit and killed three people -- one a five-year-old child -- on a street in Gaza City centre. Three passers-by were wounded, Adham Abu Selmiya, spokesman for the emergency services in the Hamas-rule strip told AFP.
The militant Islamic Jihad said that one of the dead, hit as they rode a motorcycle, was a commander of its military wing, the Al-Quds Brigade, named Moataz Qouriqa.
It said that the dead child was his son, Islam and the second adult on the bike was Qouriqa's brother, a doctor unconnected to the movement.
An earlier Israeli strike on the northern Gaza Strip killed a commander of the Popular Resistance Committees. The group named him as Samed Abed, 25.
It said that a raid on the Gaza City neigbourhood of Zeitun took the life of PRC member 22-year-old Mohammed Enaya and medics said another person was injured there and two seriously hurt in nearby Tofah.
Palestinian medical officials said that two more men were killed in a missile strike as they rode a motorcyle in the vicinity of the Bureij refugee camp.
The Al-Quds Brigade said that one of the men was their activist Emad Abu Abda.
The Israeli military said in a series of statements that during the course of the afternoon and evening, aircraft hit "weapons manufacturing sites", terror activity" sites and "a squad of terrorists...shortly after they launched rockets at Israel".
A total of 14 Gazans have been killed since Thursday evening, when Israel began raids in retaliation for the Negev shootings. Medics said more than 40 were injured.
On Thursday a PRC commander and four of his men were among seven people killed. The PRC has denied responsibility for the Negev attacks.
London-based rights group Amnesty International called for both sides to safeguard civilian lives.
"The escalating attacks underline the need for both sides to the conflict to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties," it said in a statement.
On Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned that Thursday's raid on the PRC was "just the first response."
Egypt's military chief of staff, Sami Enan, headed to the Sinai on Friday to probe the deaths of the five policemen.
An Israeli military spokesman said that events on the border would be closely investigated.
"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) will investigate the matter thoroughly and update the Egyptians," he said.
There have been conflicting reports from the Egyptian military and police about how they lost their lives.
A military official told MENA on Thursday that they were killed by stray Israeli helicopter fire aimed at the fleeing gunmen.
But on Friday, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper quoted a military official as saying the policemen were killed by gunmen trying to slip in from Israel.
Enan's visit was announced shortly after another policeman was declared dead following a border gunfight on Friday, which left one of his comrades gravely wounded with a bullet in the head.
Earlier, Israeli security sources told AFP they had information that a man had blown himself up on the Egyptian side of the border, saying they believed he was one of the men on the run.