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More Than 30 Dead in Israeli Offensive in Gaza

  • VOA News

Israel carried out more airstrikes in the Gaza Strip late Friday, as the death toll from its latest offensive in the Palestinian territory rose to more than 30.

Palestinian sources say an attack on the Jebaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza killed at least four Palestinians and wounded several others.

An airstrike earlier in the day killed four Hamas militants in Gaza City.

Also Friday, a group of Palestinian gunmen escaped from a mosque surrounded by Israeli troops after women acted as human shields to protect the militants.

Palestinian authorities say Israeli troops shot and killed two of the women in the town of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. The Israeli army says troops shot two armed militants hiding among the women.

Israel launched the offensive into Gaza early Wednesday to stop militants from firing rockets into southern Israel. One Israeli soldier has been killed.

In a statement, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Israel -- in his words -- to "refrain from escalating an already grave situation." He also called on Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets at Israeli civilian targets.

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