GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The death toll in Gaza topped 700 on Thursday as Israeli tank fire before dawn killed 16 people in the Hamas-dominated coastal territory, including six members of the same family, Palestinian health officials said.
The continued violence defied world efforts to achieve a ceasefire between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas after 17 days of fighting, though some officials voiced optimism that a limited truce may be within reach.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel kept up its assaults in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing a Palestinian man in an air strike, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the region with a mission to seek a ceasefire in the 14-day-old conflict “as soon as possible.”
The death of a man in the town of Khan Younis raised the Palestinian toll to 537 killed, including nearly 100 children and many other civilians, Gaza health officials said.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli tanks shelled militant targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday and a woman died in an air strike after the bloodiest day for both sides of a nearly two-week military offensive that showed no signs of abating despite global calls for a truce.
Palestinian health officials said the death toll since July 8 had reached 447, including many civilians, with a woman killed in the predawn strike in Beit Hanoun and 12 more bodies recovered from the embattled Shejaia neighborhood where the number of fatalities rose to 72 from Sunday’s fighting.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Hamas’s armed wing said on Sunday it had captured an Israeli soldier, as fighting in Gaza led to the bloodiest losses in a nearly two-week military offensive, with some 100 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers killed.
The Israeli military said it was checking on the reported capture, which was announced in a Hamas television broadcast. Israeli television stations ignored the report in their extended evening programing about the offensive.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel stepped up its land offensive in Gaza with artillery, tanks and gunboats on Friday and declared it could “significantly widen” an operation Palestinian officials said was killing ever greater numbers of civilians.
Israeli gunboats lit up the sky with their fire before dawn while helicopters fired into the coastal enclave. Hamas fired mortar rounds at the invading troops and rockets across the border at the southern Israeli towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli shelling killed four Palestinian boys on a Gaza beach on Wednesday, an incident the military called tragic, and Israel and Hamas said they would cease attacks for five hours on Thursday for a humanitarian truce requested by the United Nations.
Palestinian militants fired more than 130 rockets into Israel on the ninth day of a war in which Israeli attacks have killed 216 Palestinians, including six in two air strikes on Wednesday. Most of the casualties were civilians, health officials in Gaza said.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli shelling killed four boys on a Gaza beach on Wednesday, a local health official said, and Palestinian militants fired more than 100 rockets into Israel after a failed Egyptian attempt to halt more than a week of warfare.
Israel later on Wednesday agreed to a proposed six-hour cessation of hostilities for humanitarian reasons, a senior Israeli official said, adding that it had not yet been decided when the lull would take place.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel launched an aerial offensive in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, calling it part of a campaign named “Operation Protective Edge” targeting Hamas Islamist militants firing rockets at the Jewish state.
The military urged Israelis within a 40-km (24-mile) radius of the southern coastal territory to stay within reach of protected areas and ordered summer camps shut as a precaution against rocket fire.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Mohammed Abu Khadir, a slightly-built youth with piercing brown eyes, loved Arab folk dancing. Naftali Fraenkel, a strapping, red-haired youngster, strummed Hebrew folk music on his guitar.
But the Palestinian and the Israeli, both dead at 16, were sons of a land without harmony and now seem to have been doomed to share in the tragedy of yet more young lives cut short in a decades-old conflict.