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Israel steps up attacks on Gaza after siege

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Israel steps up attacks on Gaza after siege


Israel bombarded targets in and around Gaza overnight after fatally shooting two women acting as human shields between troops and Palestinian militants. More than 30 people have now been killed as the operation to stop guerrillas firing rockets enters its fourth day.

Last night, the UN relief agency’s chief, John Ging, urged both sides to search for peace: “My appeal is simple – all parties must find another way other than violence. Civilians are paying the price of political failure with their lives,” he said. At least 17 people were killed on Friday in one of Israel’s bloodiest assaults since it withdrew from Gaza last year.

Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinian women acting as human shields for gunmen holed up inside a mosque in the northern town of Beit Hanoun. The army says its soldiers fired at armed Palestinians and the men may have been disguised as women in the large crowd. Hamas radio reported that all of the militants in the mosque escaped and were uninjured when the roof collapsed moments later.

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