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Two killed in fresh Israeli airstrike on Gaza

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Gaza, Aug 22 (IANS) A fresh Israeli airstrike on Gaza Strip killed two Palestinians and wounded three others Thursday night, authorities said.

The airstrike hit the central Gaza Strip town of Deir el-Ballah, raising Thursday’s death toll to 34, Xinhua quoted a Gaza health ministry spokesperson as saying.

The ministry noted that the ongoing Israeli operation in Gaza, which started July 8, has so far killed 2,083 people, including 561 children and 255 women, and wounded 10,482 others.

The interior ministry in Gaza said that Israel has fired around 20,000 tonnes of US-made explosives into Gaza from the air, the ground and the sea, causing huge damage.

Earlier on Thursday Hamas’ armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said that Israel assassinated three of its senior commanders during an airstrike on the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. It’s the first time the Qassam Brigades has announced the death of any of its leaders since Israel stepped up its offensive in Gaza July 8.

The assassination came just two days after Israel failed to kill the brigades’ chief in an airstrike that left his wife and son dead.

After killing the three commanders Thursday, Israel approved to call up some 10,000 reserve soldiers for an expected escalation of fighting in Gaza.

Firing between Israel and Hamas resumed late Tuesday night after an Egypt-brokered short ceasefire ended.

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