Friday, 18 July 2014

21 Palestinians killed as Israel presses Gaza ground assault


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- At least twenty-one Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by airstrikes and artillery fire since Israel launched a ground operation late Thursday, medics said.

Ambulance crews said nine people were killed in the shelling of a home east of Khan Younis. Their bodies were found under the rubble of a residential building.

Among those identified were Hammad Abdulkarim Hammad Abu Lihyeh, 23, Muhammad Abdulfattah Rashad Fayyad, 26, and Mahmoud Muhammad Fayyad, 25, from Khan Younis.

Relatives Bilal Mahmoud Radwan, 23, Munthir Radwan, 22, Ahmad Fawzi Radwan, 23, and Mahmoud Fawzi Radwan, 24, were also killed.

Amal Khader Ibrahim Dabbur, 40, Ismail Youssif Taha Qassem, 59, Nassim Mahmoud Nassir and Karam Mahmoud Nassir were killed in Beit Hanoun and at least 25 injured in heavy shelling.

In Rafah three people were killed and 11 others wounded by Israeli forces, who fired foul-smelling gas during the operation.

In the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiyeh, Rani Abu Tawileh was killed and 12 members of his family injured in heavy bombings.

On the ground, witnesses reported gun battles breaking out east of the southern city of Khan Younis, with military sources confirming it was one of the areas in which the troops were operating.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told AFP ground and air forces had attacked at least 36 targets in Gaza since the incursion was launched.

Over 260 Palestinians have now been killed in Gaza since Israel began it's military assault on the coastal territory last week.

One Israeli soldier was reported killed early Friday and five others injured. more

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