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7 bodies recovered as medical teams rush to eastern Gaza

Aug. 5, 2014 11:35 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 6, 2014 10:21 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian medical teams rushed to areas in the eastern Gaza Strip to search for bodies and survivors on Tuesday immediately after a ceasefire went into effect at 8:00 a.m., an official said.

Ministry of Health sources say seven dead bodies have been recovered so far, five of them from rubble in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and two of them from Juhr al-Dik southeast of Gaza City.

Two of the bodies have been identified as Hamza al-Qadi and Khamis Hamdan.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said two bodies were recovered in Juhr al-Dik southeast of Gaza City.

Rescue teams had been unable to access areas hit by Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling in eastern Gaza before the ceasefire, al-Qidra said.

Except during humanitarian truces, Israeli forces rarely granted access to eastern areas, and often fired upon ambulances and civil defense crews, he added.

Locals told Ma'an several people were still missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings.

Palestinian factions and Israel late Monday agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire, with talks for a lasting truce to be held in Cairo in the coming days.

Some 1,869 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli offensive on Gaza, while nearly 10,000 have been injured.

The vast majority of the casualties have been civilians.

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