Gaza/Jerusalem: At least 10 Palestinians, including four civilians, were killed Tuesday and 40 others were injured at the start of a massive Israeli military operation to prevent rocket attacks aimed at Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Five terrorists of the radical Islamic Jihad group were killed in an Israeli air strike against their car, an alleged member of the Islamic movement Hamas died in a bombing on the town of Deir al Balah, while four civilians perished when their house was hit in an air attack on the southern town of Khan Younis, said Gaza Strip emergencies’ spokesperson Ashraf al Qedra.

The Israeli attacks followed the launch by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) of Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza “to stop the terror Israeli citizens face each day”, said an IDF spokesperson on his official Twitter account.