A local Gaza media agency distributes images purportedly showing the moment boys playing on a beach were killed by shell fire. Paul Chapman reports.
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Video from a Gaza media agency appears to show the moment a shell killed four boys playing on a beach.
Palestinian health workers said the shell was fired from an Israeli gunboat off Gaza's Mediterranean coast.
The boys, aged between 9 and 11, were all said to be from one family.
Another youngster was wounded.
The Israeli military's said in a statement it will investigate the circumstances of the incident on Wednesday.
The beach area's been frequently shelled since Israel began its offensive on July 8th in response to cross-border rocket attacks.
On the same day four members of the same family were among six Palestinians killed in the Khan Younis area of Gaza.
Israel says it warned residents in several areas of the Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes ahead of military operations.
As the conflict continued on Thursday the toll of Palestinians killed stood at 216, most of them civilians, according to Gaza health officials.
In Israel, one civilian has been killed and more than half a dozen wounded after the firing of more than 1,000 Palestinian rockets.
Both sides said they would cease attacks for five hours on Thursday for a humanitarian truce requested by the United Nations.