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12 Palestinians killed in Gaza, death toll passes 200

July 16, 2014 10:01 P.M. (Updated: July 17, 2014 11:24 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes killed twelve Palestinians since midnight, bringing the death toll in Israel's military offensive to over 200 Palestinians.

Abdulrahman Ibrahim Khalil al-Sarhi, 37, was killed in an airstrike on the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City Wednesday afternoon.

An Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis targeted a civilian car killing Omar Abu Daqqa, Ibrahim Abu Daqqa, and Khadra Abu Daqqa, 65.

Five others were injured in the strike.

Israel also targeted houses belonging to the al-Ashi, Abu Hashim, and Kallab families in Gaza City, and the al-Kafarneh family house in Jabaliya.

Ealier, Ashraf Abu Shanab, 33, was killed in Shabura camp in Rafah and Muhammad Abu Audah and Muhammad Zahouq were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Abu Audah family home.

Four others were injured.

A five-year-old girl also died after falling from a building following an airstrike on a residential building in Rafah.

Islamic Jihad fighter Muhammad al-Dabari was killed in an airstrike on a Rafah building, while two men were killed in Khan Younis.

Ahmad al-Nawajha died from injuries sustained when a missile struck his car in Rafah before midnight.

Overnight, Israeli warplanes struck about 40 sites across Gaza, including homes of senior Hamas officials, including Mahmoud Zahhar, but there were no reports of casualties in those strikes.

Earlier, AFP correspondents saw flyers dropped over the Zaytoun neighborhood southeast of Gaza City, and residents there and elsewhere also reported receiving recorded phone and text messages urging them to evacuate by 8 a.m.

The Israeli army said it was sending messages to residents of parts of eastern and northern Gaza, "requesting them to evacuate their homes for their own safety" ahead of new strikes.

The army issued similar messages to north Gaza residents on Sunday, causing the exodus of 17,000 people who took shelter in United Nations schools.

President Mahmoud Abbas was due in Cairo on Wednesday, but it was unclear if Hamas officials there were continuing to discuss the truce bid and if Israeli officials would also travel to Egypt.

The proposal won support from Western governments with US President Barack Obama saying he was "encouraged" by Egypt's efforts and hoped to see calm restored.

On Monday, a senior UN official said more than a quarter of Palestinians killed in Israel's assault were children.

AFP contributed to this report
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