Israel keeps up its offensive against Gaza militants

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Israel keeps up its offensive against Gaza militants

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Despite international diplomatic efforts to reach a truce, explosions have once again lit up the sky over Gaza City as Israel continues its offensive against Hamas militants.

So far at least 630 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed in the two-week long conflict.

According to the UN at least 75 percent of the Palestinian deaths have been civilians, including dozens of children.

In the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has endorsed demands by Hamas for halting the conflict.

Both say they want a lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza along with other concessions, to be discussed after a staggered cessation of hostilities.

Meanwhile Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shown UN chief Ban Ki-moon an array of missiles which he said were being fired at Israel by Hamas.

Ban has urged Israel to exercise “maximum restraint” and called on both sides to “stop fighting” and to “start talking”.