BBC Arabic Worker's 11-month-old Son Killed in Israel's Airstrikes in Gaza

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By Gianluca Mezzofiore | November 15, 2012 9:03 PM EST

The 11-month-old son of a BBC Arabic cameraman has been killed in Israel's air strike against Hamas, which has triggered the most intense military operation in Palestinian territory in four years.

Jihad Misharawi, of BBC Arabic, lost his baby Omar and sister-in-law in Israel's strike, which also killed Hamas's top military man Ahmed Jabari.

"Spare a thought for Omar, 11-month son of our BBC Arabic Service colleague in Gaza, killed in today's Israeli air strike," tweeted Paul Adams, BBC World Service Washington Correspondent.

Yesterday Israel pounded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with aircraft, tanks and naval gunboats, killing 13 Palestinians, including four children and five militants, and wounding a further 100.

In response, a rocket fired from Gaza killed three people in southern Israel inside an apartment. Israeli police said more than 80 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza in the wake of Jabari's death.

Egypt, which harshly condemned the Israeli "aggression" against Gaza and called on the US to intervene, has submitted a formal request to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to hold an emergency security council meeting over Israel's airstrikes.

Israel's neighbour is ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which is considered Hamas' ideological counterpart.

Meanwhile, the funeral of Jabari is taking place in Gaza City. About 400 mourners took to the streets to bury Hamas's mastermind, whose body was draped in the green flag of the Islamic militant movement.

"This crime will not weaken us. It will make us stronger and more determined to continue the path of jihad and resistance," Hamas lawmaker Mushir al-Masri said in a eulogy. "The enemy opened the battle and shall bear the consequences."

Israel said Jabari's killing was just the beginning of a broader offensive called Pillar of Defence, launched after days of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

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