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3 killed in new Gaza airstrikes

July 14, 2014 12:01 P.M. (Updated: July 15, 2014 10:02 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes late Sunday killed three Palestinians in southern Gaza, medics said.

Maher Abu Mor, 24, Saddam Muammar, 23, and Moussa Muammar, 60, died in the attacks on eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, the medics said.

The assault brought the death toll since Tuesday to at least 170, according to Ministry of Health records.

More than 1,000 Palestinians have been injured in the same period.

Earlier, airstrikes killed Samir Hamdan in Beit Hanoun, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said, while Hussein Muhesin, 19, died of wounds sustained in an airstrike on Gaza City.

Three children were injured in the strike.

Earlier, Layla Hasan al-Udat was killed in al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza and Ashraf Zurub, 21, died from wounds sustained a day earlier in airstrikes.

Husam Ibrahim al-Najjar, 14, was killed in Sunday attacks in northern Gaza and 80-year-old Hijaziyya al-Hilou was killed in the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City when an Israeli missile hit the al-Hilou family home.

Medics said it was a miracle the rest of her family survived the attack.

OCHA said Saturday that 70 percent of Palestinian fatalities are civilians, of whom 30 percent are children.

Israel warns north Gaza

In a sign of a likely further escalation, Israel dropped leaflets over northern Gaza, urging residents of the town of Beit Lahiya in particular to leave their homes "for their own safety".

"Civilians are requested to evacuate their residences immediately and move by 12 p.m. today," the leaflets said, naming locations which would prove to be most dangerous.

A UN official said that some 4,000 Palestinians have already fled their homes and sought refuge in UN facilities.

On Saturday, UNRWA official Robert Turner said that the UN refugee agency could house over 50,000 Palestinians refugees if a ground invasion took place.

Israel has warned that preparations are under way for a possible ground incursion, with tanks and artillery massed along the border and some 33,000 reservists mobilised out of 40,000 approved by the cabinet.

Israeli hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said he expects a political decision on a possible ground operation to be taken by Sunday.
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