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Israel, Hamas slide towards major Gaza conflict

Published on Jul 8, 2014 9:15 PM
 

GAZA CITY (AFP) - Israeli warplanes killed 12 Palestinians Tuesday, pounding the Gaza Strip in a new campaign to stamp out Hamas rocket fire as the two sides slid toward another major conflict.

In the most serious flare-up over Gaza since November 2012, it comes as Israel struggles to contain a wave of violence in Arab towns over the grisly murder of a Palestinian teenager by Jewish extremists.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas demanded that Israel "immediately stop" its air campaign, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, and asked the world to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government..

But Netanyahu was expected to order a "significant broadening" of the operation and instruct the army to "take off the gloves," army radio said, quoting a source close to the premier.

Smoke and flames are seen following what police said was an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes killed 12 Palestinians Tuesday, pounding the Gaza Strip in a new campaign to stamp out Hamas rocket fire as the two sides slid toward another major conflict. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
 
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