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Middle East Unrest

Israeli Strikes in Gaza Kill 17 Members of Just Two Families

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At least 55 Palestinians were killed by airstrikes and tank shelling in different areas of Gaza on Wednesday, according to a health official. Ashraf al-Kidra said at least 15 people were killed and about 90 wounded at a U.N. school sheltering Gazans displaced by fighting. In the southern town of Khan Younis, 10 members of one family were killed when an airstrike hit a relative's home where they had sought refuge from the conflict, al-Kidra added. In the Gaza City neighborhood of Tufah, shelling killed at last seven members of another family, including four children, said Ayman Sahabani, the head of the emergency room at Gaza's Shifa Hospital.

The total number of Palestinians killed since the start of fighting July 8 rose to 1,269, according to al-Kidra. In addition, more than 7,100 Palestinians have been wounded. Israel has lost 53 soldiers and three civilians. Israel has said its Gaza operation is meant to stop Hamas mortar and rocket fire that has reached increasingly deeper into its territory and to destroy a sophisticated network of tunnels used for attacks in Israel. Gaza militants have fired more than 2,600 rockets toward Israel over the past three weeks, according to the Israeli army.

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- The Associated Press