Israel says its operation aimed to end Palestinian rocket fire at towns in southern Israel. It blames civilian casualties on the fact that militants operated from populated areas.
Militant groups were known to have a presence in the largely agricultural Zeitoun area. Locals say the Samouni family was not known to have links to armed groups, but the Israeli military says it found munitions and a combat vest in one of the family's houses.
Text and images by Heather Sharp.