Death toll rises to 112 on Day 5 of Gaza campaign

A Palestinian woman is brought into an hospital on a stretcher after she was injured in an Israeli air strike on July 11, 2014 in Gaza City. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Palestinian woman is brought into an hospital on a stretcher after she was injured in an Israeli air strike on July 11, 2014 in Gaza City. -- PHOTO: AFP

GAZA CITY, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES (AFP) - Seven Palestinians were killed in several Israeli air strikes early on Saturday, raising the death toll in five days of violence to 112, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Qudra said four people died in Jebaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip, and two others further south in Deir el Balah.

Then shortly afterwards, a 17-year-old was killed in a raid on Gaza City, he said.

The latest fatalities raise the death toll to 112 since Israel began Operation Protective Edge early on Tuesday in an attempt to halt cross-border rocket fire by militant groups.

Since then, militants have fired about 520 mortar rounds and rockets that struck Israel, while another 140 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system, an Israeli army statement said late on Friday.

It is the deadliest violence since November 2012, with a growing number of rockets fired at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and even as far north as Haifa.

So far, no Israelis have been killed.

An Israeli soldier was severely wounded in a mortar attack late Thursday, and another man was very seriously injured when a rocket hit a petrol station in the southern port city of Ashdod early on Friday.

Two soldiers were lightly wounded along the border with Gaza when Palestinians fired an anti-tank missile.

And an elderly woman was slightly injured when a rocket hit her home in the southern city of Beersheva.

Israel has authorised the call-up of 40,000 reservist troops, and threatened a ground operation to stamp out the rocket fire.