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Gaza war: 48 days, over 2,100 deaths

Last updated on: August 24, 2014 20:53 IST

Gaza war: 48 days, over 2,100 deaths

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Harinder Mishra

At least 12 Palestinians were killed on Sunday in Israeli air strikes on Gaza with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing that the military offensive would continue as long as necessary, even as the death toll in the 48-day war neared 2,200.

Israel on Sunday took its military campaign to a new level by flattening a 13-storey apartment tower in Gaza following a warning to residents to evacuate.

The strikes in the southern town of Rafah came just hours after Israel bombed an apartment tower in GazaCity, collapsing the 12-storey building with 44 apartments. Around 30 people were wounded but no one was killed, officials said.

The targeting of large buildings appears to be part of a new military tactic by Israel. Over the weekend, the army began warning Gaza residents in automated phone calls that it would target buildings harbouring “terrorist infrastructure” and that they should stay away.

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Image: An explosion caused by an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City.
Photographs: Ezz Zanon/Reuters

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Gaza war: 48 days, over 2,100 deaths

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An Israeli air strike killed a mother and three children from the same family in northern Gaza on Sunday, medics said.

The strike hit a home near Jabalia in the north of the Palestinian territory, emergency spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, taking Sunday’s death toll in Gaza to at least 12.

Earlier, Israeli air strikes killed eight Palestinians in Gaza, including a one-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy, as militants kept up rocket fire into Israel.

Likening Hamas to the brutal Islamic State terror group in Iraq, Netanyahu vowed to continue with Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza “until all of its goals are achieved and this can take time”.

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Image: Smoke rises following what witnesses said were Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Israeli aircraft bombed the Gaza Strip on Saturday and Palestinian militants fired rockets at the Jewish state.
Photographs: Ahmed Zakot/Reuters

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Gaza war: 48 days, over 2,100 deaths

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“We decided that there will be no immunity for anyone who fires rockets, and that is relevant for every front and any person,” Netanyahu told his cabinet at its weekly meeting in reference to rocket fire at Israel.

We are not alone in this – Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas...these are groups that execute their own members and have no issue killing children. Hamas recently admitted to kidnapping and killing Eyal, Naftali and Gilad (the three Israeli teenagers) and the world is wising up to this with every passing day,” he said.

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Image: Palestinians gather around the remains of a commercial center, which witnesses said was hit by an Israeli air strike on Saturday, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
Photographs: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

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Gaza war: 48 days, over 2,100 deaths

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Addressing growing anger by residents of Israel’s south, who were told that they could return home before ceasefire efforts collapsed and fighting started anew, Netanyahu said that he respects their endurance and feels their pain.

“Our enemies will not exhaust us, and they will receive attrition instead. We will continue to hit Hamas and Gaza terror groups," the Israeli Premier asserted.

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza since the start of Israel’s military operation on July 8, is now well over 2,100 with more than 10,500 injured.

68 Israelis have died, 64 of them soldiers, and the Jewish state has come under heavy rocket and mortar attack.

 


Image: A Palestinian firefighter reacts at the scene of what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City.
Photographs: Suhaib Salem/Reuters

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