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3 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

Aug. 9, 2014 9:16 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 10, 2014 12:04 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip late Saturday, a health ministry spokesman said.

Ashraf al-Qidra said warplanes targeted a group of people in Deir al-Balah, killing 37-year-old Mahmoud Muhammad al-Jourani.

Earlier, an airstrike hit a civilian car in the al-Barazil neighborhood in eastern Rafah, killing Said Atif Tamraz, 26, and Muhammad Adil al-Ayidi, 28.

Eight Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks on Saturday, as warplanes continue to target various sites across Gaza.

The latest deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed in Israel's 33-day offensive on Gaza to 1,914. Some 9,861 Palestinians have been injured throughout the assault, according to the Ministry of Health.

The United Nations says at least 1,354 of the dead were civilians, including 447 children.

Earlier Saturday, Israeli shelling injured five Palestinians in northern Gaza City, a Ma'an reporter said.

Before that, medics recovered the body of a Palestinian child in the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City.

An army statement said warplanes had carried out more than 100 strikes in Gaza since Friday morning, 49 of them on Saturday, targeting those responsible for the rocket fire.

The army said 23 rockets hit Israel, bringing to 61 the number of projectiles launched since a 72-hour truce ended on Friday.

'Awaiting Israeli response'

Meanwhile, negotiations were ongoing, as the Palestinian delegation said it was still awaiting Israel's response to its demands.

Though Israel recalled its delegation Friday, warning it would not negotiate under fire, the Israelis were still communicating with the Egyptian mediators over the phone, a Palestinian delegation leader told Ma'an.

Bassam al-Salihi said the delegation was "waiting for an Israeli response," which would determine whether the negotiations would proceed.

He added that the issue of Rafah crossing would be left as a Palestinian-Egyptian matter, and that the Israeli delegation would not engage in talks regarding the crossing.

A Palestinian source close to the talks told AFP that the Israeli delegation was to return for negotiations late Saturday.

Earlier, another Palestinian official said on condition of anonymity that Egypt and the Palestinians had reached a draft agreement for submission to Israel on Saturday.

It would see Egypt and the Palestinian Authority take control of the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, essentially activating part a unity accord Hamas signed with the PA in April.

Negotiations on the sea port, demanded by Hamas, would then be delayed and entrusted to the PA, with whom Israel is prepared to deal.

Palestinian factions have insisted that Israel end its eight-year siege on the Gaza Strip, release dozens of prisoners whom Israel has re-arrested that were released in 2011 as part of the Shalit exchange, re-open a seaport and airport in Gaza, and create a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Clashes in West Bank, worldwide solidarity

In the occupied West Bank, 15 Palestinian youths were injured in clashes with Israeli troops, who used rubber bullets and live fire to disperse stone throwers in the town of Hebron, medics told AFP.

The trouble broke out after the funeral of a Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli troops during protests against the Gaza operation on Friday, witnesses said.

Similar clashes also erupted in Ramallah. Israeli troops responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

In London, up to 150,000 protesters packed Oxford Street, marching to the US embassy and on to Hyde Park, many of them chanting "Free, Free Palestine" and holding up banners saying "UK - Stop Arming Israel."

Tens of thousands of demonstrators also marched through Cape Town to protest the Israeli military operation, one of the biggest rallies in the city since the end of apartheid.

Demonstrators carried placards stating "Israel is an apartheid state" and "Stop Israeli murder."

AFP contributed to this report
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