A huge explosion in a public garden in northern Gaza killed eight children and two adults, and wounded 40 others, Palestinian medics said on Monday. Locals blamed the blast on an Israeli air strike, but Israel denied responsibility, saying it was a misfire by a rocket launched by Hamas militants. At roughly the same time, another blast shook the grounds of Gaza's main Shifa hospital, without causing any casualties. Israel, which has previously accused Hamas militants of hiding in the hospital, again blamed an errant missile.
The Islamic State, which advocates public stoning for adultery, has opened a "marriage bureau" for women who want to wed its fighters in territory they control in Syria and Iraq. The jihadist group's office is operating from Al-Bab, a town in Aleppo province of northern Syria, for "single women and widows who would like to marry IS fighters", said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Running twice-weekly tours from Syria's Raqa to Iraq's Anbar, IS buses fly the group's black flag and play jihadist songs throughout the journey. IS has its roots in Iraq, but spread into Syria in late spring 2013.