Last updated: 16 July, 2014

Gaza toll hits 220 on 9th day of Israel air campaign

Seven people were killed in three strikes in Gaza on Wednesday evening, raising the toll in nine days of violence to 220, emergency services said.

The deaths followed those of four children killed on the beach in Gaza City, in strikes witnessed by AFP journalists.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said the seven Palestinians killed Wednesday evening included four members of a family in Khan Yunis, among them two children, aged six and four.

Another strike in southern Khan Yunis killed two men in their thirties, and a third strike in Gaza City killed a six-year-old boy.

The deaths followed those of four children on a Gaza beach, all from the Bakr family.

The latest violence raised the overall number of dead in Gaza after nine days of violence to 220, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said. More than 1,570 have been wounded.

Earlier, a 37-year-old man was killed in an air strike on the Zeitun neighbourhood, east of Gaza City, which took place several hours after the army warned 100,000 residents to leave the area and the neighbouring district of Shejaiya.

Most of Wednesday’s deaths came in the south, with six people earlier killed in strikes on Khan Yunis and five killed in Rafah, which straddles the Egyptian border.

In Khan Yunis, four people from the Al-Daqqa family were killed in two separate strikes, one of which killed a 65-year-old woman and a 10-year-old boy.

One of the victims in Khan Yunis was killed by tank fire.

In Rafah, five men were killed in four separate strikes, one of which hit a house in the city, Qudra said.

According to figures provided by the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), more than 80 percent of the victims were civilians.

So far, one person has been killed in Israel — a civilian who died on Tuesday evening in a rocket strike near the Erez crossing, medics said. Four Israelis have been seriously wounded.

Since the latest violence began before dawn on July 8, 1,021 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel, and another 256 have been shot down by the Iron Dome air defence system, army figures show.

Forty-three struck Israel on Wednesday and 24 were intercepted.

During its operation, Israel has struck more than 1,750 “terror targets” across the coastal enclave, the army said.