Gaza toll hits 261 on day 11 of Israeli campaign

2014-07-18 12:48
A ball of fire is seen following an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib, AFP)

A ball of fire is seen following an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib, AFP)

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Gaza City - The Gaza death toll hit 261 on Friday as Israel pressed a major ground offensive on the 11th day of an operation to stamp out militant rocket fire, medics said.

And a soldier was killed as the offensive got under way, raising the Israeli death toll to two, the army said.

During the morning, medics found the body of a man killed in a strike south of Gaza City, emergency services spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said, raising Friday's toll to 20 dead.

Earlier, two men from the Shami family were killed in the southern city of Khan Yunis.

And four members of the same family were also killed in another strike on the city, he said.

Separate attacks

Three more were killed by tank fire there.

Two people died in the northern town Beit Hanun, following another two who were killed by tank fire not long after midnight.

Another was killed in Shejaiya, east of Gaza City, Qudra said.

Five more people were killed by Israeli fire in separate attacks on the southern city of Rafah, including a five-month-old baby.

Rocket fire

According to figures provided by the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, more than 80% of the victims have been civilians.

At least 1 920 Palestinians have also been wounded.

Since the Israeli operation began before dawn on 8 July, at least 1 164 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel, and another 320 have been shot down by the Iron Dome air defence system, army figures show.

On the Israeli side, a civilian was killed by rocket fire earlier this week, and a soldier was killed overnight in Gaza. Another four Israelis have been seriously injured.

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