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Israel bombs Gaza ambulance as Friday death toll surpasses 100

Aug. 1, 2014 5:32 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 2, 2014 8:29 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An Israeli airstrike hit an ambulance and killed a paramedic Friday as Israel stepped up its bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip following the collapse of a ceasefire earlier in the day.

Palestinian medical sources said that paramedic Atef Zamili was killed in an airstrike on his vehicle and that seven passengers were wounded.

Zamili's death brings to 16 the number of health workers who have been killed in Israeli strikes since the beginning of the assault 25 days ago. This is third 13th ambulance to be targeted in an Israeli attack, according to the ministry of health.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces widened their assault across the Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon, launching further ground movements in Shujaiyya in eastern Gaza City, Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, and Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The expansion of the invasion comes after Israel said one of its soldiers was captured during an attack on its military position east of Rafah inside the Gaza Strip.

Hamas said that it attacked the position an hour before a ceasefire was due to start at 8 p.m., saying that it was a response to Israeli troop movements in the area as well as the deaths of 16 Palestinians in continued Israeli shelling and airstrikes overnight.

It did not, however, take responsibility for the capture of the soldier, saying that Israel had fabricated the claim.

Israeli forces pounded the Gaza Strip all Friday afternoon following the attack, as Israeli authorities vowed a "crushing" response to what they called a ceasefire violation.

At least 40 were killed in intense shelling of Rafah during the Hamas attack on the military post, and at least a dozen more have been killed in air strikes and shelling since then.

The deaths bring the total in Israel's assault to more than 1,600 as well as nearly 9,000 injured, in one of the deadliest sustained campaigns against Palestinians in recent history.

Many more are believed to be dead but stuck under the rubble of destroyed buildings, and thus as of yet unaccounted for by Gaza medical officials.

A Palestinian was killed in an Israeli attack on al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip late on Friday, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

The dead man was identified as Atef Suheil Qandil, 24.

Another Palestinian was killed in al-Nusairat refugee camp, also in central Gaza.

He was identified as Ab al-Malek Abu Ma'ala, 37.

Additionally, three Palestinians were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit a three-wheeled "tuk-tuk" vehicle in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

The three were identified as Fayiz Tariq Yasin, 16, Muhammad Nihad Yasin, 24, and Hassan Ismail Yasin, 32.

Earlier, a Palestinian woman and a young girl were killed as Israeli artillery shells hit a house in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Two people were also killed and six wounded when an Israeli shelling hit a car near the University in Tel al-Hawa in southern Gaza earlier Friday.

Of the more than 60 Palestinians killed in Rafah since the collapse of the ceasefire, 19 others were identified by medical officials as of 5:00 p.m.

They were identified as Ibrahim Suleiman al-Madri, 50, Nadiyah Youssef al-Masri, 45, Ibrahim al-Masri, 6, Muhammad Anas Arafat, 4 months, Anas Ibrahim Hamad, 5, Sabri Sheikh al-Eid, 35, Muhammad Khalid al-Alul, 30, Ibrahim Mustafa Ghneim, Amina al-Zamli, Yahiya Abd al-Karim Lafi, Moussa Muhammad Abu Imran, Hilal Eid Abu Imran, Salama Muhammad al-Zamli, Nuha Jamal Abu Ziyada, Taysir Ali Muammar, Hussein Salim al-Jaafari, Yusra Muhammad Abu Jazar, Itaf Hammad al-Mahmoum, Moussa Ibrahim Abu Jazar, Muhammad Rizq Hasanein, 20.
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