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Gaza toll 337 as Israel escalates operation

An Israeli civilian was killed yesterday in a rocket attack on southern Israel

Gaza/Jerusalem: At least 337 Palestinians have died and 2,400 others have been wounded since Israel launched a major military offensive in the Gaza Strip 12 days ago.

Palestinian Hamas police building
Israeli artillery strikes a Palestinian Hamas police building during an airstrike in Gaza City last week. Pic/AP

The number of people killed has risen sharply, as  the Israeli army escalated its Operation Protective Edge, campaign of massive air raids and naval barrages intended to stop rocket attacks from Gaza, by launching a ground invasion on Thursday night.

More than 70 Palestinians died in Israeli attacks on towns in the northern and southern part of the coastal enclave during the initial 24 hours of the ground offensive, the Israeli military’s first invasion of Gaza — controlled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas — in five years.

Rocket shrapnel
A 32-year-old man died from rocket shrapnel. Three others were wounded, including a four-month-old girl who is in critical condition and a five-year-old boy.

The three were evacuated to a hospital in the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva. Dozens of rockets were fired at southern Israel throughout yesterday.

This is the second Israeli civilian killed since Israel started Operation Protective Edge on Gaza 12 days ago. An Israeli volunteer died of mortar fire at a border crossing near the northern Gaza Strip border
on Tuesday.

The latest crisis erupted last month, when Israel began a massive search for three Jewish seminary students who went missing June 12 in the occupied West Bank and were found murdered 18 days later.

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