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Deadliest Israeli Bombing Raid of Gaza Offensive Kills Eight

JERUSALEM - Israeli airstrikes killed eight members of a family including five children in Gaza on Thursday, Palestinian officials said, while Hamas-led fighters launched rockets at Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities. Israel's military had no immediate comment on the report of the deadliest single bombing raid since its Gaza offensive began on Tuesday. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the strike destroyed at least two homes in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will brief the Security Council on the crisis later on Thursday, condemned the rocket attacks and urged Israel to show restraint. At least 66 Palestinians have been killed in the violence, more than 50 of them civilians, medical officials said. Israel says its offensive is intended to halt rocket fire at its cities from the Gaza Strip. More than 320 rockets have been fired during the campaign. The rockets have caused no serious casualties, due in part to interceptions by Israel's Iron Dome aerial defense system. But the barrages but have paralyzed business in southern communities and sent hundreds of thousands of people scrambling for shelter in cities including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The Israeli military had called up 20,000 reserve troops to back up regular forces mobilized for Gaza.

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- Reuters