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Gaza death toll surpasses 1,000 as bodies recovered
Published Saturday 26/07/2014 (updated) 27/07/2014 22:18
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A Palestinian man collects belongings as he inspects a house after
it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike early on July 16, 2014, in
Gaza City. (AFP/Mohamed Abed)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip rose to over 1,000 on Saturday amid a brief truce, as some 135 bodies were pulled from the rubble of buildings destroyed by Israeli attacks throughout the besieged coastal enclave, medics said.

The bodies were found on the 19th day of Israel's assault on Gaza, during a 12-hour truce in which many Gaza residents picked through the ruins of their homes.

Meanwhile, Israeli TV said that Israel's security cabinet had approved a four-hour extension of the truce, prolonging the ceasefire until midnight.

As the brief period of calm took effect Saturday, survivors began to venture out of their homes to survey what was left, while those who had fled cautiously returned to see what had become of their abandoned houses.

The updated death toll was announced as Israeli officials considered extending the truce even longer, on the condition that the army continue targeting tunnels in Gaza, Israeli media said.

News site Ynet quoted a government source as saying an Israeli cabinet meeting was scheduled to take place at 9:30 pm to discuss the possibility.

It was initially unclear whether Hamas and other factions in Gaza would agree to extend the truce.

So far, Palestinian medical teams have used the ceasefire as an opportunity to recover dead bodies still buried under destroyed buildings.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry, said in a statement at 7:00 p.m. that 132 bodies had been recovered so far.

Many of the bodies were pulled from Gaza City's Shujaiyya neighborhood, which has experienced some of the heaviest Israeli shelling and airstrikes throughout the Gaza offensive. At least 70 people were killed in the neighborhood in one night of shelling last Sunday, a bombardment Palestinians have come to call "the Shujaiyya massacre."

Khuzaa in Khan Younis has been heavily targeted as well, but Israeli forces have refused to allow ambulances and search teams to access the village.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an that Palestinians in the Khan Younis area had been told to leave their homes days ago and told not to return during the ceasefire, and that therefore rescue teams were "not allowed to search" in parts of the southern Gaza Strip.

Palestinians stand on Israeli military equipment left behind
during the ground offensive, east of Khan Yunis in the southern
Gaza Strip on July 26, 2014 (AFP Said Khatib)

More Israeli soldiers announced dead

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said in a statement that the number of soldiers killed during Israel's ground invasion of Gaza had risen to 40.

"Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, 40 IDF (army) officers and soldiers have been killed," the statement said.

The militant wing of the Popular Resistance Committees had announced earlier that their fighters had killed a soldier earlier in the day.

Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades announced Friday that its militants had killed "at least" 10 soldiers with explosives in eastern Beit Hanoun.

Palestinian militant groups have claimed that the Israeli army has yet to announce the deaths of a handful of its troops.

Even taking the army's numbers at face value, the amount of soldiers killed during Israel's current Gaza offensive is the largest military loss the country has faced since its war with Lebanon in 2006.

AFP contributed to this report.
1 ) Tibi / Tubas
26/07/2014 19:27
Every single One of these 1,000 Gazans would be alive today, * IF NOT FOR HAMAS, it's ROCKETS, AND it's TUNNELS.

2 ) Colin Wright / USA
26/07/2014 19:29
Bear in mind this entire orgy of violence was engineered by Israel with no more legitimate provocation than the Nazis had for Kristallnacht. Of course, the Nazis were pussies. Something like 91 people were killed in Kristallnacht. The Jews of Israel are real men.

3 ) Tobias / USA
26/07/2014 20:05
-1- It Is Truly Terrible To See What Has Happened To Gaza Today, Just As It Was In 2006, 2009, 2012, But -2- Do Not Blame Israel For Fighting To Eliminate Hamas' Rockets, Or For Returning Fire, Even If It Comes From Schools And Hospitals !!

4 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
26/07/2014 21:12
Where are the neuveau-Nazis demanding "war crimes" trials? Are they going to demand trials for people who committed clear and well-documented war crimes of indiscriminate rocketing of civilians (war crime)? Hiding weapons in hospitals and schools (war crime)? Using battle plans that explicitly directed soldiers to use civilians as cover (war crime)? All of the above is documented and Hamas is to be charged. Even the head of the UN realizes the war crimes. But the neuveau-Nazis will blame Jews.

5 ) Billy Bragg / UK
26/07/2014 22:28
Any more images of wounded Arab children with big brown innocent eyes? They always go down well at the photo editors desk, and seem to be popular for publications.

6 ) 2,600 Reason / Truth
26/07/2014 22:59
- Israel has had many ceasefires with Hamas, and every single one of them was used by Hamas to prepare for the next bloodier war, so Israel has every reason to "resumes attacks", Until Hamas Accepts Peace, and - If Hamas Will Not Even Consider Peace, then the people of Gaza have * TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED GOOD REASONS ( 1,400 dead Gazans in 2009; 200 in 2012, & 1,000 in 2014 ) * TO WANT HAMAS TO GO INTO EXILE FOREVER.

7 ) 635 MALES / AGES 18-35
26/07/2014 23:09

8 ) Options / Truth
27/07/2014 00:21
- Gaza will always have an option of living in peace with Israel, but Israel will never have an option of living in peace with Gaza, and - Hamas may always target Israeli civilians, and use Gaza's civilians as human-shields to protect their weapons & fighters, but Israel will never be such a war criminal.

9 ) @ Tibi-1 / USA
27/07/2014 00:25
Don't think so narrowly, since every single One of - the 1,400 Gazans killed in 2009, and - the 200 killed in 2012, would also all be alive today, * IF NOT FOR HAMAS, it's ROCKETS, AND it's TUNNELS, and the same will probably be true in 2017 and 2020, unless Hamas' rule of Gaza is brought to an end.

10 ) Mel / USA
27/07/2014 00:30
I think Israels Zionist regime is ALSO sending weapons to Ukraine(Donetsk/Lugansk)?As Gaza gets pounded by Israel's missiles & mortars(again)& faces flechette weps & DIME weps again, USG-puppet regime in Ukraine is using WHITE PHOSPHOROUS on civilians there.Lieberman must have given them a pile of WillyPete with Nuland's cookies?
SUMUD Palestine,Israel's collapsing under the stinking towers of Zionist barbarity! A pluralistic Palestine will prevail & Zionism buried under its ARROGANCE!

11 ) fari naz / britain
27/07/2014 00:31
The main issue is the blockade of gaza with israel israel is not negotiating with hamas yes cease fire but a permanent and blockade of gaza. Jews are murderers and criminals of innocent civilians hamas didn't kidnap the teenagers which thy found out israel wanted war. gaza had tunnels to bring food and building materials from Egypt. No sea or airport.

12 ) Outlier / USA
27/07/2014 01:06
Most of those casualties and much of the damage would never have happened if Hamas had accepted the first Israeli ceasefire offer. When Gazans have time to consider how this mess happened, Hamas deservedly will get much of the blame.

13 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
27/07/2014 09:09
My nemisis is back - have you been on vacation or did Hamas finally send you a paycheck that didn't bounce? Hard to tell what your motivated by more, the love for Hamas (and its pure hatred of anything western/American/nonIslamic) or your hatred of Jews. The bottom line, of course, is that Hamas is the single sole cause of this war. No matter how many Maan commenters try to say different, the facts are clear and even the head of the UN knowns it now. His comments are central. Go read them.

14 ) gaza had tunnels to bring food / so far this is the BEST LINE
27/07/2014 11:16
EVER ABOUT HAMAS Great line fari naz from britain!!!!

15 ) Mel / USA
27/07/2014 16:48
Washington D.C. expected the WORLD to be outraged(quite rightly)at the barbarity of Absolutist Al Qaeda when it attacked WTC,Pentagon in 2001. 9/11 Killed 3,000 &injured SCORES of thousands more innocent people.
We have memorials at Ground Zero. Jews have Holocaust memorials. BUT,as extremist-Jewish Israel continues its mass-terrorism on NON-Jews in Palestine,with Gaza as perpetual Ground Zero(1,100 dead this time so far)6,000 injured(this time so far)&Gaza as the WTC. How can U Obama/Kerry?
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