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Middle East Unrest

Israel Strikes Gaza in a Night of Intense Shelling, 62 Dead

Israel bombarded the southern Gaza town of Rafah Saturday, killing at least 62 people, during what should have been a weekend of calm in the war-weary region. The heaviest shelling focused on where the Israeli military believe an officer, 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, was captured by Hamas in an ambush which shattered a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire. Goldin was recently engaged to be married, and has a twin brother on the front lines. The officer's father, Simha Goldin, said he expects Israel to "not stop before it turns over every stone in Gaza and returns Hadar home safe and sound." The strikes reportedly destroyed dozens of homes near Rafah, less than two miles inside the Gaza Strip and near the southern borders with Israel and Egypt.

Since fighting began on July 8, more than 1,672 Palestinians — mostly civilians — have been killed and more than 9,000 wounded. Israel has lost 63 soldiers and three civilians. Israel has attacked around 4,200 targets in Gaza thus far, including 122 targets Saturday.

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— NBC News and The Associated Press