Gaza - The Islamic Hamas movement on Saturday denied targeting Israeli children and women with rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

"Hamas doesn't mean to kill children with its rockets," spokesman Ismail Radwan told reporters in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in response to a statement made by al-Qaida's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who said Hamas' random rockets kill women and children in violation of Islamic law.

Radwan added that "the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians may involve some killing of children," accusing the Israeli army of "deliberately killing children, women and destroying houses and mosques."

Local Palestinian media reported that al-Zawahiri's statements appeared on an Islamic website as part of responses he sent to readers' questions.