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Gaza Update: Death Toll Climbs As Israel Attacks Continue

Gaza Update: Death Toll Climbs As Israel Attacks Continue

Report – By Julie Webb-Pullman In Gaza

The death toll from Israeli attacks against Gaza has risen to 11 since the early hours of Wednesday morning, with another body being recovered from the rubble of a bombed Rafah tunnel.

The 24 hour death toll is the highest since Israel launched its current round of attacks on the Gaza Strip in response to attacks near Eilat in southern Israel committed by three Egyptian citizens and two others of unknown – or undisclosed – origin. All Gaza groups have denied responsibility for, or involvement in, the Eilat attacks.

The informal ceasefire declared on Monday was broken by Israel on Wednesday, in an attack at Rafah which killed Esmail Al Ismar.

Gaza resistance groups retaliated, and Israeli escalated the conflict, killing another ten and injuring scores more in the following 24 hours. No Israelis were killed by Gazan fire.

Israel’s attacks, mostly on civilian targets such as homes, a sports centre during a sporting event, civilian vehicles, and children playing in the street, have enraged not only seasoned medical professionals, but also two local resistance groups.

On Thursday The Popular Resistance Committees' armed wing announced its forces would not commit to a truce with Israel, after an airstrike killed two Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza. The Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades said in a statement that both sides must stop attacks for any truce to last, but Israel has not stopped attacking Gaza."We will respond to their attacks with all our strength," the group told Ma’an news agency.

Hundreds of Palestinians attending funerals on Thursday for the seven Palestinians killed in the latest Israeli attacks also condemned the Israeli attacks and called on the international community to intervene. They also called on resistance fighters to respond, and avenge the bloodshed in Gaza.

Israel has some 100 tanks still massed on the Gaza borders, and shows no sign of backing off.

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Julie Webb-Pullman (click to view previous articles) is a New Zealand based freelance writer who has reported for Scoop since 2003. She recently managed to get into Gaza during a brief period when the Rafah Gate was open.

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