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Over 12 overnight killed as Israel continues targeting Gaza homes

July 22, 2014 9:52 P.M. (Updated: July 22, 2014 10:28 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Over a dozen Palestinians were killed overnight and early Tuesday as Israeli warplanes and artillery targeted Palestinian homes in Gaza, as the major offensive continued for a 15th day.

The latest Israeli airstrikes killed 26-year-old Haitham Sami al-Agha and 21-year-old Walid Suleiman Abu Dhahir in Khan Younis, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

In Rafah, a woman named Yasmin Abu Murr was killed as Israeli artillery targeted homes, al-Qidra added.

Earlier, in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, six Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks.

Al-Qidra identified the victims as Ibtihal Ibrahim Rimahi, Yousif Ibrahim Rimahi, Eiman Ibrahim Rimahi, Salwa Abu Munifi, and Samirah Abu Munifi. At least 10 other Palestinians were injured in the attacks.

Earlier, an airstrike hit the home of Abdullah al-Buheisi in Deir al-Balah, killing him. Five others were injured.

In southern Gaza, two Israeli attacks on houses killed 26-year-old Naji Jamal al-Fahm, Mahmoud Suliman Abu Sabha, and a 19-year-old man who is yet to be identified. Fourteen others were injured in the strikes, one of them seriously.

Muhammad Abu Jami was also killed by an Israeli airstrike on a house in al-Zanna neighborhood in Khan Younis.

Israeli artillery shelling killed Wael Harb in Gaza City and Muhammad Nasr Haron in the Nuseirat refugee camp, al-Qidra said.

Additionally, Ahmad Abu Hasira succumbed to wounds sustained earlier in the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

Three mosques were demolished by Israeli raids between midnight and Tuesday morning, locals told Ma'an.

Local sources told Ma'an that al-Aqsa Martyrs' mosque in Gaza City, al-Farouq mosque in Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah, and an archaeological mosque in Deir al-Balah were hit by Israeli forces and destroyed.

Several other residential houses were destroyed by Israeli attacks, including the home of Hussein al-Mabhouh in Tal al-Zaatar neighborhood in Jabalia, the home of late al-Qassam Brigades leader Ahmad al-Jaabari in Gaza City, the home of Nimir Abu Ras in Gaza City, and the home of Bilal Mousa in Deir al-Balah.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, an Israeli reconnaissance drone fired a missile at home of Ziad al-Thatha deputy prime minister of the former Hamas-run government. Shortly after that, fighter jets fired two missiles at the same house in al-Nasr neighborhood in Gaza City, leveling it to the ground.

In the northern Gaza Strip, a fire broke out in a sponge factory and several nearby houses as a result of Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling, witnesses told Ma'an.

The Israeli army said it had targeted some 310 targets in Gaza in the last 24 hours.

"Among the targets was a weapon cache and military compound, which was utilized as a gathering point for Hamas terrorists, all concealed within a mosque in Rafah," the army statement said.

"An additional mosque used by the PIJ as a rocket storage facility, operations room, and gathering point, was targeted as well. This along with some 40 rocket launching facilities, 50 command and control centers, and additional strikes conducted to assist ground forces."

The latest Israeli attacks brought the Palestinian death toll to 587. Twenty-seven Israeli soldiers have been killed so far by Palestinian militants.
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