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15 Pictures Of Gaza Under Attack As Israel Responds To Militant Rockets (LIVE UPDATES)

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UPDATE: 26 Images Of Gaza In Ruins As Israeli Military 'Makes Hamas Pay' For Rocket Strikes

Israel has continued its devastating offensive against the Gaza Strip, killing at least 14 people, according to AP, as it targets Hamas sites, which the IDF claim is responsible for firing rockets into Israel. The fighting, the most intensive since late 2012, saw Hamas militants fire rockets into Israel, acts that have led to a mobilisation of thousands along the Gaza border as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Palestine.

Reported by AP, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Gaza in the past two days, leading to at least 32 deaths. Hamas militants have fired around 160 rockets into Israeli territory, one reaching the city of Hadera more than 60 miles from Gaza. Air raid sirens have sounded in Tel Aviv, with the IDF claiming inbound missiles were destroyed before they reached the city.

"The organisation is going to pay for its aggression," said Israeli spokesperson Peter Lerner, "It is literally holding us hostage with its rockets." He added that the offensive was designed to take a "substantial toll" of Hamas and that "the country is not willing for this situation to continue".

Speaking on Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: "I have been in contact with the regional and international parties in the last few days, particularly Hamas leaders in Gaza, and everyone I've talked to expressed his willingness to restore the truce and stop the escalation," adding that the Israeli actions against Gaza was "orchestrated and brutal aggression."

On Wednesday, the BBC found itself in the middle of an information war after it ran a video claiming images shared across social media purportedly showing death and destruction caused by Israel in Gaza were fake. The broadcaster was subsequently accused of conspiring with the Jewish state to underplay the damage its military is inflicting.

  • EPA
    Smoke rises after an airstrike by Israeli forces in the south of Gaza City, 09 July 2014.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    An Israeli missile hits smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
  • EPA
    Smoke rises after an airstrike by Israeli forces in the south of Gaza City, 09 July 2014.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Israeli missiles hit smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    An Israeli missile hits smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Smoke trails are seen after missiles were fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza City towards southern Israel, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Smoke and debris rise after an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip seen from the Israeli side of the Israel Gaza Border, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Since the Gaza offensive began Tuesday, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Gaza, killing at least 32 people in a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. Only four rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel overnight, the army said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    An Israeli missile hits an area in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing more than a dozen of people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A Palestinian salvages what he can from a house after it was hit by an Israeli missile strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Palestinian children walk in the rubble of a destroyed house a day after an Israeli strike, in the town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A Palestinian boy plays in the rubble of a destroyed house the day after an Israeli strike in the town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing more than a dozen people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Palestinians check a destroyed house a day after an Israeli strike late Tuesday, in the town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing more than a dozen people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A fireball rises following an Israeli missile strike on the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza Strip, early Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing at least 11 people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. Only four rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel overnight, the army said. (AP Photo)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A Palestinian removes rubble near a damaged building belonging to a senior Hamas official following an Israeli missile strike in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing at least 11 people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. Only four rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel overnight, the army said. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Palestinian mourners carry bodies of the five members of the Hamad family who were killed in an Israeli missile strike late Tuesday, in town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing more than a dozen of people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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Today 5:49 PM EDT
Heavy Shelling In Gaza
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Israeli forces flares light up the night sky in the east of Gaza City on Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

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Today 4:06 PM EDT
PHOTO: Shati Refugee Camp

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A Palestinian woman hugs her daughter at the site of an explosion in a public playground in the beachfront Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on July 28, 2014. (MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

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According to the Associated Press, the Israeli army announced that nine soldiers were killed on Monday. Earlier reports suggested the IDF had confirmed the deaths of 4 soldiers.

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Derek Stoffel reports:

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From the Associated Press:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel's prime minister says Israelis must be "ready for a prolonged campaign" against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Benjamin Netanyahu also said in a televised speech Monday that a demilitarization of Gaza must be part of any future solution in the territory.

Meanwhile, a strike on a Gaza park killed 10 people, nine of them children. Israeli and Palestinian authorities traded blame over the attack as fighting in the Gaza war raged on despite a major Muslim holiday.

A truce between the sides remained elusive as diplomats sought to end the fighting at the start of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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Speaking to reporters on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the demilitarization of the Gaza strip must be part of any solution to the current crisis between Israel and Gaza. A ceasefire does not appear in sight.


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Today 1:07 PM EDT
More On The Gunmen's Raid

Reuters reports:

Palestinian gunmen slipped into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday and penetrated a village near the border before being repelled by the army, Israeli television said, adding that five militants had been killed.

Gaza's dominant Hamas Islamists said in a statement their fighters had killed 10 Israeli soldiers in the incident before returning home safely.

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Haaretz reports:

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Haaretz' Anshel Pfeffer reports:

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Jon Williams reports that the Israeli Army is warning residents in several Gaza neighborhoods to evacuate immediately.

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Ben Hartman tweets:


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Haaretz' Anshel Pfeffer reports:

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From the Associated Press:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian health official says at least 10 people were killed and 46 wounded in an Israeli strike on a park in the Gaza Strip.

Ayman Sahabani, the head of the emergency room at a nearby hospital, which also was hit, gave the casualty toll in Monday's strike.

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The Israeli army denies having fired at Gaza's main hospital. Haaretz reports that the IDF believes Hamas caused the fire.

Initial reports indicate the strike at the al-Shifa hospital compound caused several casualties.

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Today 10:29 AM EDT
Rockets Fired At Ashkelon

Anshel Pfeffer of Haaretz tweets:

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Reuters correspondent Noah Browning tweets:

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From Reuters:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday that parties to the conflict in Gaza have "expressed serious interest" in his request for a further 24 hour humanitarian ceasefire, but "have not yet agreed on the timing of its implementation."

"The Secretary-General calls on the parties to renew a humanitarian pause in Gaza and reiterates his demand for a durable ceasefire that could set the ground for the start of comprehensive negotiations," his spokesman said in a statement.

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Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, shares a link to the New York Times interactive of destruction in Gaza.

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Haaretz reports:

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Buzzfeed's Sheera Frenkel reports:

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A spokesman for Hamas has said the group would not accept Israel's ceasefire extension, CNN reports.

"Any humanitarian cease-fire that does not include the withdrawal of the occupation soldiers from Gaza borders and allowing citizens to return to their homes and evacuate casualties is unacceptable," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said according to CNN's report.

Israel's Cabinet decided to extend a truce for 24 hours, until midnight (2100 GMT) Sunday. AFP had earlier reported that Hamas would not agree to the truce extension.

-- Andrew Hart

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