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Israeli Strikes Across Gaza Kill 30    07/16 06:08


   DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israeli strikes in the central Gaza Strip 
overnight into Tuesday killed 24 people, including women and children, 
according to hospital records, in deadly violence that continues to rage as 
Israel and Hamas weigh the latest cease-fire proposal.

   The deaths in Nuseirat and Zawaida, which included 10 women and four 
children, came days after Hamas said cease-fire talks meant to wind down the 
nine-month-long war would continue even after Israel targeted the militant 
group's top military commander, Mohammed Deif, whose fate remained unclear. 
Israel says another senior Hamas militant was killed in that strike which, 
according to local officials, killed 90 Palestinians, including children.

   International mediators are working to push Israel and Hamas toward agreeing 
to a deal that would bring a halt to the devastating fighting and set free 
roughly 120 hostages held by the militant group in Gaza.

   The strikes late Monday and early Tuesday hit four residential homes, 
according to emergency workers. An Associated Press journalist saw the bodies 
of the dead, some wrapped in blue blankets and a floral sheet, as they were 
ferried to Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah. Clouds of smoke from Israeli 
strikes could be seen rising above the city.

   The military said it "conducted targeted raids on terror targets" in central 
Gaza, without elaborating. It did not immediately provide additional details on 
the targets.

   In southern Gaza, nine people were killed in two separate strikes overnight 
Monday, according to medical officials and Associated Press journalists.

   Four people were killed in a blast that struck a house in eastern Khan 
Younis while five other people were killed in a strike on a street in 
southernmost Rafah according to ambulance workers who transported the bodies to 
Nasser Hospital.

   An AP journalist counted the bodies at the hospital before a funeral was 
held at its gates.

   The military said that air force planes struck some 40 targets in Gaza over 
the past day, among them observation posts, Hamas military structures and 
explosives-rigged buildings.

   The war in Gaza, which was sparked by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, has killed more 
than 38,600 people, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, which does not 
distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count. The war has sparked 
a humanitarian catastrophe in the coastal Palestinian territory, displaced most 
of its 2.3 million population and triggered widespread hunger.

   Hamas' surprise attack killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and militants 
took roughly 250 people hostage. About 120 remain in captivity, with about a 
third of them believed to be dead, according to Israeli authorities.

   Violence has also surged in the West Bank during the war and on Tuesday a 
Palestinian stabbed an Israeli policeman, wounding him lightly, before another 
officer opened fire, killing the assailant, who was identified as a 19-year-old 
from Gaza.

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