Death toll rises in bloodiest day of Gaza offensive

GMT 04:52 2014 Tuesday ,22 July

Arab Today, arab today Death toll rises in bloodiest day of Gaza offensive

Palestinian civilians run in the streets
Gaza City - AFP

At least 100 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed Sunday during the bloodiest day yet of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, while Hamas’s armed branch claimed one Israeli soldier had been captured.
More than 100 Palestinians are thought to have died Sunday. At least 60 people died in the neighbourhood of Shejaiya alone, which suffered a heavy bombardment by Israeli forces. Thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee Shejaiya and other areas. Close to 83,700 refugees have sought shelter with the UNRWA, according to its spokesman.
The Israeli Defence Forces say that 13 Israeli soldiers died Sunday, bringing the Israeli death toll in the crisis to 18.
The spokesman for Hamas' armed wing said late Sunday evening that it had captured one Israeli soldier. Confusion remains, however, as the soldier, Shaul Aron, was originally listed as one of the Israeli casualties.
Diplomatic efforts continue alongside the conflict. The bombardment of Shejaiya was condemned as “a massacre” by the Arab League.
A humanitarian ceasefire requested Sunday morning by the Red Cross to evacuate the dead and wounded only lasted 30 minutes instead of the originally agreed two hours. The Israeli army claimed they were "responding to Hamas fire."
Diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire have failed to produce a breakthrough. US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cairo to try to resuscitate a ceasefire originally proposed by Egypt, which was accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas.

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