(AFP) – Mar 2, 2008
GAZA CITY (AFP) — New Israeli strikes killed seven Palestinians in the north of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip early on Sunday as the military continued a massive blitz against militants, medics said.
Three people, including one civilian and one Hamas militant, were killed in two separate strikes early in the day in the north, where Israeli ground and air troops were operating for a second day, they said.
Another two people were killed by gunfire near the northern town of Jabaliya, medics said.
Later Sunday, two Palestinians were killed when an Israeli tank shell crashed into a house in Jabaliya, which has borne the brunt of the fighting.
An army spokesman said that ground troops were continuing to operate in the north of Gaza and air strikes had targetted armed men, weapon manufacturing sites and warehouses throughout the territory.
Two bodies of women were pulled out on Sunday from beneath the rubble of houses destroyed in Israeli strikes in Jabaliya the previous day, medics said.
Sunday's deaths brought to 70 the number of people killed by the Israeli military since in Gaza since early Saturday, the bloodiest operation in the territory since the start of the second Palestinian uprising in September 2000. Two Israeli soldiers have also been killed.
The dead have included seven children and nine women in addition to other civilians, according to medics.
The massive Israeli air and ground blitz is aimed at halting near-daily rocket fire from the territory where the Islamist Hamas movement, pledged to Israel's destruction, violently seized control more than eight months ago.
The rockets have killed 14 civilians inside Israel since 2000.
Since Israelis and Palestinians revived their peace negotiations under US stewardship in late November at least 303 people have been killed, most of them Gaza militants, according to an AFP count.
Sunday's deaths bring to 6,266 the number of people killed since the start of the second Palestinian uprising in September 2000, according to a separate AFP tally.
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