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Death toll soars to over 1,200 amid talk of truce
Published Tuesday 29/07/2014 (updated) 30/07/2014 20:55
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A building within the port of Gaza is seen on fire after several strikes
early on July 29, 2014 (AFP Loulou D'Aki)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Over 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli strikes on Tuesday as leaders on both sides debated a proposed humanitarian ceasefire.

In the latest attack, at least 13 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli shelling on Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Additionally, the bodies of four Palestinians were recovered from rubble from earlier attacks on Rafah, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

A top PLO official, meanwhile, said that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to a day-long humanitarian truce.

Yasser Abed Rabbo announced that after consultations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad there was "willingness for a ceasefire and humanitarian truce for 24 hours."

A joint delegation headed by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas would travel to Cairo to take the next step, he added.

"This is more proof that we have a unified Palestinian stand," Abed Rabbo told reporters. "The delegation will head to Cairo under the PLO umbrella represented by President Mahmoud Abbas."

A Hamas spokesman quickly denied Hamas had agreed to the proposal.

"When we have an Israeli commitment ... on a humanitarian truce, we will look into it but we will never declare a truce from our side while the occupation keeps killing our children," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zukhri said on his Facebook page.

Abed Rabbo later insisted that Hamas was open to the idea, saying that the announcement had been made with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal's approval.

Israeli media quoted officials as saying there was agreement among officials, but later the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that two officials had denied a ceasefire had been agreed upon.

The Israeli government remained silent on the subject while continuing its bombardment.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked for fresh help from America in trying to broker a ceasefire.

"Last night we talked, and the prime minister talked to me about an idea and a possibility of a ceasefire. He raised it with me, as he has consistently," said Kerry.

The top US diplomat added that Netanyahu had said he "would embrace a ceasefire that permits Israel to protect itself against (Palestinian militants') tunnels and obviously not be disadvantaged for the great sacrifice they have made thus far."

There was no Israeli government comment.

A series of ceasefires in recent days have failed to take hold, as both sides appeared more determined than ever to keep up the fighting.

The Israeli offensive, which began on July 8, has killed more than 1,210 Palestinians, mostly civilians according to the United Nations, and injured over 7,000.

Fifty-six lives have been lost on the Israeli side, all but three of them soldiers.

Demands for end to hostilities

The World Health Organization now estimates that more than 215,000 people, or one out of eight Gazans, have fled their homes in the overcrowded territory.

Many have headed for already-cramped UN schools in the north, where children ran barefoot around a dirty school yard alongside stinking piles of rubbish.

The surge in violence drew increasingly urgent international demands for an end to hostilities.

"In the name of humanity, the violence must stop," UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

But the calls went unheeded, with Netanyahu warning it would be "a lengthy campaign" that would go on until troops destroyed cross-border tunnels used for staging attacks on Israel.

"Israeli citizens cannot live with the threat from rockets and from death tunnels -- death from above and from below," he said.

Two Israeli civilians have been killed by Gaza rocket fire, one of whom was hit while volunteering at an Israeli military base.

But the vast majority of Israeli deaths have been among soldiers, with Gaza militants killing at least 53 since the beginning of Israel's ground offensive on July 17.

AFP contributed to this report
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1 ) JoeFattal / USA
29/07/2014 22:37
Tunnels, Israel are after them on the ground. Who is taking care of the rockets?. The Iron-Dome is. But the Iron-Dome do not intercept all the rockets. So who is stoping the remain rockets before they fall on the ground?. Nobody. It is pure luck that more Israelis weren't killed from the unitercepted rockets. So What Israel is doing. Killing more civilians, destroying more houses while Hamas is launching more rockets. So far Hamas 1 and Israel 0.

2 ) Tobias / USA
29/07/2014 23:22
HAMAS KNEW for certain, that Israel would give WAR TO GAZA, if they asked for it with rocket fire, just as they asked for it before: - in 2006 - Rocket fire lead to 2,200 being killed in Gaza, - in 2009 - Rocket fire lead to 1,400 being killed in Gaza, and - in 2012 - Rocket fire lead to 200 being killed in Gaza, and AND HAMAS ALSO KNOWS for certain, that Israel would give PEACE TO GAZA, IF THEY WOULD ONLY ASK FOR IT.

3 ) Michael Collins / Eire
29/07/2014 23:22
For God's sake, Israel has so many friends, can one of those friends not guarantee Israel's commitment to a 24 hour humanitarian truce, so that it can go ahead?

4 ) Naser ilna / Canada
29/07/2014 23:52
Isreal is blood hungry. How much more blood has to be shed before they give up. Ceasefire is only a temporarily resolution. The real resolution would be to have all isrealies leave Palestine to America. After all what pet doesn't love their owner!

5 ) Lez / New Zealand
30/07/2014 01:36
Israel , Mowing the grass this time , the wheels have fallen off the mower Your in for the long term It is plain to see The bullet and bayonette never works look at Irelands victory over the Brits . Right wing tories thought Military solution was the way . Peace was achieved by negotiation by respecting civil and human rights Make them an offer they cant refuse Or are you too scared to lose your Macho face Nethanayu is not the best man for the job

6 ) @ Naser-4 / Truth
30/07/2014 02:00
Actually, Hamas and the Islamic militants are "blood hungry". Today's 1,200 killed was just like 2009's 1,400 killed, and before that much like 2006's 2,200 killed, and since Gaza's Hamas government promotes the killings through rocket attacks, the international community should try to protect the people of Gaza from Hamas and the Islamic militant rocket launching factions !!!

7 ) Abbie / Canada
30/07/2014 02:05
If Israel where a chicken, Hamas would be one of her eggs. What is being done to the people of Gaza is nothing but collective capital punishment for simple being Palestinian. The false pretext of the so called Hamas 'rockets' allow Israel to ethnically clense & kill Palestinian hope. The Israelis who participate and support this have cursed their own people and a people with such carma are digging their own grave with every single person they murder and lies that they spread.

8 ) Maureen / Australia
30/07/2014 02:44
#3 Michael Collins No, it seems not. The reason - all of Israel's friends, it would seem, are too drunk with their own power of self righteousness to be bothered about humanity. My Australian Abbott government included! Hypocrites, the lot!

9 ) @ Joe-1 / USA too
30/07/2014 04:27
You can believe what ever you want, and by all means do not let the truth and facts* interfere with your fantasies either. For example: - If the score is "Hamas 1 and Israel 0", then why does President Abbas asking for "Palestine to be placed under UN protection", and - Why are the numbers of Gaza dead 40 times greater than Israel's, and - Why are number of Gaza injured and building destroyed 1,000 times greater than Israel's ???

10 ) @ Mike-3 / USA
30/07/2014 04:35
* First of all, Hamas could guarantee a humanitarian truce, simply by accepting Israel's terms (tunnels destroying continues), so Blame Hamas, and * Second, Israel's many friends can not guarantee that Israel will not be terrorized again, or that attempts to abduct Israelis will Not succeed, if Hamas remains armed with rockets and attack tunnels, so Israel's friends will not interfere, while Israel acts against these threats !!

11 ) Oz / Israel
30/07/2014 06:38
you continue commenting talking and babbling on a conflict you don't have an idea what is really about! you think you know something but you really don't know nothing!

12 ) Hamas just murdered 20 / Gazans who dared
30/07/2014 08:27
to protest their life Hamas is nothing but a MURDER ORGANIZATION

13 ) israel found so far / 31 tunnels out
30/07/2014 09:53
of 5000 long way to tiperrary

14 ) NRSGaza / USA
30/07/2014 20:18
Freedom for Gaza and Palestine! End the Israeli Blockade and Occupation!

15 ) H.L. / Israel
31/07/2014 01:37
CNN = CIA

I declare personal intifada against Wolf Blitzer from CNN!
I was personally near e discussion with IDF Forces
when I overheard him giving targeting information
to them. Again, CNN gives target coordinates to the
IDF! I will sell my house and raise money to get this
Disgrace to the human race wiped of the map of the
Earth. I am pissed and can stand any more the carnage
which people like him putting unpunished to the earth!
I am ready to die if I can take bastards lik
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