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Palestinian Siblings Killed in Israeli Airstrike

Boys watch the burial of Yassin Abu Khoussa, a 10-year-old Palestinian killed in an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip, March 12, 2016. The boy's sister, 6-year-old Israa, later died.

A 10-year-old Palestinian boy and his 6-year-old sister died Saturday following overnight Israeli missile strikes in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The Israeli military said in a statement that it launched retaliatory airstrikes against four Hamas militant training camps after four rockets landed in open areas in southern Israel late Friday. Officials said no one was hurt by those rockets, Reuters reported.

The young siblings died after missile fragments hit their home, near one of the training camps, and the roof collapsed. Yassin Abu Khoussa died first, and his younger sister Israa later died in the hospital, according to Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra.

Their deaths marked the first fatalities from airstrikes since October.

Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said Hamas militants use the rocket strikes to "threaten the security and safety of the people of southern Israel. The [military] will continue to act to protect against those who threaten innocent lives and Israel's sovereignty."

Rocket attacks in Gaza have subsided greatly since 2014, when Israeli airstrikes killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Palestinian forces killed 67 Israeli troops and six civilians.