• New Israeli air strikes bring Gaza toll to 200: medics

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    Gaza City: New Israeli air strikes in Gaza early Wednesday killed three people, medics said, bringing the death toll from Israel’s operation in the besieged Palestinian territory to 200.

    A strike on a house in the southern city of Rafah killed two men, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told Agence France-Presse, and a separate raid shortly afterwards killed a young man who witnesses said was an Islamic Jihad militant.

    Some of the first raids on Wednesday morning targeted homes of senior Hamas officials, including Mahmud al-Zahar, but there were no reports of casualties in those strikes.

    It was the ninth day of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which aims to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza militants.

    Since July 8, militants have fired nearly 1,000 rockets and mortars fired into the Jewish state, and Israel has carried out around 1,500 strikes against targets inside the Gaza Strip, according to the army.

    Tuesday saw Israel’s first fatality, when a man died from a rocket attack near the Erez border crossing.

    International efforts towards a ceasefire collapsed Tuesday, as Hamas rejected an Egypt-proposed truce, and Israel resumed its bombing raids several hours later after continued rocket fire.

    AFP

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