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Israeli air strikes kill 26 in Gaza

Published on Nov 21, 2012 7:15 AM
 
Palestinian stone throwers run for cover during clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank city of Nablus, on November 20, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Six more Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids on Tuesday night, raising the day's toll to 26, as talk of an imminent truce failed to slow the pace of Israeli strikes.

The Hamas emergency services said that two brothers in the southern town of Rafah were killed in a strike that hit their motorcycle. Four others were killed in raids around the central town of Deir al-Balah, they added.

Earlier, two cameramen from Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV were among six people killed in Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip, raising the overall Palestinian death toll in the violence that began November 14 to over 130.

More than 1,000 people have also been injured in Gaza since the conflict began with Israel's targeting of a senior Hamas military commander.

Five Israelis have been killed by rocket fire from Gaza - four civilians and one soldier - including two people on Tuesday.

"Two cameramen from Al-Aqsa TV have been killed: Mahmud Komi and Hossam Salama," health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP, saying the strike hit a car in Gaza City's Nasser area that was clearly marked as a press vehicle.

The Israeli army had no comment on the apparent targeting of a press vehicle, confirming only that the air force had carried out several attacks in the area.

"We attacked two terrorist squads in northern Gaza: one was adjacent to a weapons storage site that was also a missile launching site; the other was just a terror squad," a spokeswoman said.

Apart from the cameramen, Qudra said three people were killed in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood and another person died in an air strike on the northern town of Beit Hanun.

An earlier strike on a car in the Sabra neighbourhood of central Gaza City killed six people and wounded two others, he told AFP.

Separately, the Hamas ambulance service announced that two children had died in a strike on Gaza City's Zeitun neighbourhood, with a statement saying they had arrived at the city's Shifa hospital "in pieces."

During the morning, Israeli warplanes killed six more people, ending a night of relative calm in which no-one died for the first time since the start of the campaign six days ago.

One was killed in Safina, just north of Gaza City, and another in a strike on Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

Elsewhere, 15-year-old Yahya Mohammed Awad was killed as he hunted birds near the beach when a missile hit the northern Sudaniya area, and three men died in the nearby town of Beit Lahiya and in Mughraqa, just south of Gaza City.