Gaza death toll now over 700
Israel's Gaza offensive has lasted for 17 days and shows no signs of stopping. (AFP/File)
Twenty-nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli shelling and airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, bringing the Palestinian death toll on the 17th day of the offensive to 724, with more than 4,000 injured.
The attacks come a day after Israeli forces said that three soldiers were killed and 28 injured in fighting on Wednesday, bringing total military casualties to 32 in what has been the deadliest assault for Israel since attacking Lebanon in 2006.
At least four were detained and dozens injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank, meanwhile, as clashes erupted across the region in solidarity with the Gaza Strip after a youth was killed in a similar protest near Bethlehem the day before.
The continued Israeli violence comes as John Kerry shuttles between Jerusalem and Cairo in order to push for a ceasefire, which Hamas has said can only come after Israel lifts its crippling eight-year siege of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas has also insisted that resistance groups in Gaza will maintain their armed capabilities in the case of any ceasefire, after EU leaders called on them to disarm.
29 bodies were recovered early Wednesday amid continued Israeli shelling across the Gaza Strip, including 10 members of one family.
Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that six members of the al-Astal family were killed in shelling on their house in a western Khan Younis district, naming the dead as: Milad Imran al-Astal, 29, Muhammad Imran Khamis al-Astal, 33, Malak Amin Ahmad al-Astal, 24, Ahmad Thair Imran al-Astal, 33, Amin Thair Imran al-Astal, 3, and Nada Thair Imran al-Astal, 5.
In another neighborhood of Khan Younis, meanwhile, Israeli shelling killed Muhammad Ismail al-Astal, 17, Ismail Muhammad al-Astal, 48, Ahad Muhammad Ismail al-Astal, 20, and Muhammad Hassan Abdulqadir al-Astal, 43.
At least six other members of the family have also been killed in the last week by Israeli bombing.
The Israeli military confirmed in a statement on Thursday that they bombed 35 targets across the Gaza Strip the day before, as the operation continued with no end in sight.
Protests against the Israeli assault continued in the West Bank meanwhile, where two Palestinians have been shot dead and dozens injured by Israeli forces in solidarity marches in the last week since the Israeli ground assault began.
Israeli forces detained four Palestinians late Wednesday in Abu Dis near Jerusalem during clashes in the town.
Hani Halabiyeh, a spokesperson for the local popular committee, said that "clashes erupted in Abu Dis in the al-Jamia street and near the camp and Israeli forces detained Ali Rabee Halabiyeh, 13, Muhannad Zaarur and Abed Ayyad" as well as a fourth youth who was not yet identified.
Halabiyeh said that a youth was struck by live fire in the foot, another was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet, and many others suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation.
Clashes also erupted in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem, as Israeli forces used tear-gas grandes and foul-smelling "Skunk" water cannons to disperse demonstrators.
A Palestinian youth, Samer Nasser Abu Shihab, 19, was injured by live fire during clashes at the eastern entrance of Qalqiliya city, while more than a dozen suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation due to the heavy number of grenades shot by Israeli soldiers.
Clashes erupted after a rally set off from central Qalqiliya city protesting the "Israeli massacres" against Palestinians in Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Red Crescent sources said that many injured youths were taken to Darwish Nazzal government hospital, among whom was Abu Shihab, who was shot in the waist and was immediately taken for surgery.
Medics suffered from suffocation due to the firing of tear gas grenades by Israeli forces while they were aiding the injured at the clashes site.
A Palestinian woman was severely suffocated by tear-gas bombs during clashes in Osrin village in southern Nablus after Wednesday midnight.
Local sources told Maan that Israeli military jeeps raided into the village firing dozens of tear-gas bombs and stun grenades, when Taghrid Ediely, 35, was suffocated by tear-gas bombs.
Youths threw rocks and empty bottles at soldiers in the village, but no injuries were reported.
Bodies continued to be recovered across the Gaza Strip Wednesday morning, as medical services struggled to respond to the ceaseless Israeli bombardment.
Medics pulled six bodies out from rubble in Khuzaa village in eastern Khan Younis.
The six were identified as Muhammad Ahmad al-Najjar Khuzaa, Anwar ahmad al-Najjar Khuzaa, Anwar Ahmad Abu Daqqa, Moussa Abu Daqqa, Adli Khalil Abu Daqqa and Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Daqqa.
A Ministry of Health spokesman said earlier that Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Aita, 32 and toddler Hadi Abdulhamid Abdulnabi, a year and a half, were killed in Jabaliya and Ahmad Ibrahim Said al-Qaraan, 26, was killed in central Gaza Strip.
Three injuries were reported, one of which is serious.
Five Palestinians from the same family were also killed in house shelling in Jabaliya: Ibrahim Abdullah Abu Aita, 67, Ahmad Ibrahim Abdullah Abu Aita, 30, Jamila Salim Abu Aita, 65, Adham Ahmad Abu Aita, 11, and an unidentified baby girl of the family.
Ten injuries were reported.
Seven Palestinians were killed in Israeli shelling in Abasan area and Bani Suheila in Khan Younis.
Al-Qidra said that the bodies of Bassam Khalid Abu Shahla, 44, Ahmad Rifaat al-Raqb, 23, Salman Salman al-Breim, 27, arrived to al-Nasser medical center.
Yazid Saad al-Batsh, 23, succumbed to wounds he sustained in the Israeli attack on the al-Batsh family home earlier in the week, which killed 18 members of his family.
Khalil Nasser Wishah, 21, succumbed to wounds he sustained earlier in central Gaza Strip.
Israeli warplanes also targeted, for the fifth time, an apartment in al-Thafer 9 tower in central Gaza.
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