Gaza toll rises over 1,190 on day 22 of Israeli assault

An Israeli soldier stands at a staging area after crossing back into Israel from Gaza. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
An Israeli soldier stands at a staging area after crossing back into Israel from Gaza. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - More than 100 corpses were brought to Gaza morgues on Tuesday after intense Israeli fire, bringing the number of Palestinians killed in the 22-day assault to over 1,200.

Israel stepped up its artillery fire overnight, especially in central Gaza’s Bureij refugee camp, spreading in the afternoon to Jabaliya in the north and Rafah in the south.

Two Palestinians brought to a Jerusalem hospital for treatment died of their injuries, and the Israeli army said troops killed five militants in a Gaza tunnel.

Since the Israeli offensive began on July 8, 1,191 have been killed in Gaza, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, while another 7,000 have been injured.

Most of the dead were civilians, according to the United Nations.

Fifty-six lives have been lost on the Israeli side, including 53 soldiers, two Israeli civilians and a Thai agricultural worker killed in southern Israel.