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Gaza Death Toll Passes 200; Israel has One Fatality

New air and tank strikes in Gaza early Wednesday killed several people, bringing toll on Arab side to 204. One Israeli has been killed.
By AFP
First Publish: 7/16/2014, 8:13 AM

Israeli airstrike in Gaza
Israeli airstrike in Gaza
Reuters

New IDF air and tank strikes in Gaza early Wednesday killed several people, medics said, bringing the death toll from Israel's operation in the Palestinian Arab territory to 204.

One Israel has been killed in the campaign thus far: Dror Hanin, 38, of Beit Aryeh.

An IDF strike on a house in the southern city of Rafah killed two men, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP, and a separate raid killed a young man who witnesses said was an Islamic Jihad terrorist.

Another Rafah strike shortly afterwards left one man dead, Qudra said, while a raid on the home of Mohammed al-Arjani in the southern city of Khan Yunis killed his son Abdullah, 19.

About an hour later, tank fire from inside Israel hit the eastern part of Khan Yunis, killing one person, Qudra said, later pronouncing the death of another man there, 33-year-old Mahmud Abu Dakka.

Some of the first raids on Wednesday morning targeted homes of senior Hamas officials, including Mahmud al-Zahar, but there were no reports of casualties in those strikes.

It was the ninth day of Israel's Operation Protective Edge, which aims to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza terrorists.

Since July 8, terrorists have fired nearly 1,000 rockets and mortars into the Jewish state, and Israel has carried out around 1,500 strikes against targets inside the Gaza Strip, according to the army.

Tuesday saw Israel's first fatality, when Dror Hanin was killed in a mortar attack near the Erez border crossing.

Four Israelis have been seriously injured by rocket fire, and Israel's air strikes have wounded more than 1,500 Palestinians.

International efforts towards a ceasefire collapsed Tuesday, as Hamas rejected an Egypt-proposed truce and continued its rocket fire past the 9:00 a.m. deadline. Israel resumed its bombing raids several hours later.