Deaths mount in Gaza conflict

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – Gaza health officials now say 435 Palestinians have been killed in the 13-day-old conflict with Israel, and about 3,000 wounded.

Close to half of the dead were killed since the start of Israel’s ground offensive on Thursday. At least 65 people were killed and 288 wounded today alone, in fierce fighting in a Gaza City neighborhood that Israel says is used by Hamas to launch rockets at Israel.

Israel has now lost 20 of its citizens, including 13 soldiers killed today.

An Israeli military spokesman says soldiers met a “huge” level of resistance from Hamas militants in Gaza City, with anti-tank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic-weapons being fired from houses and buildings.

The military says residents were warned ahead of the offensive to leave the area, and Gaza’s Health Ministry says 35,000 people did flee.

The United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians says 81,000 Palestinians are staying in U.N. shelters.

 

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