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Israeli, Palestinian civilians killed as Gaza militants & IDF exchange HUNDREDS of rockets

Over a dozen Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed as well as scores injured on both sides in an ongoing spate of violence that saw hundreds of rockets launched by Gaza militants and massive air strikes by Israel.

At least 18 people were killed in Sunday’s Israeli assault on Gaza, the Gaza Health Ministry said, adding that dozens more have been injured. A pregnant woman and her 14-month-old baby were among those killed.

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Israel said it killed at least eight Palestinian militants, claiming it struck 320 militant targets in the strip, including tunnels, arms workshops and depots. It blamed the deaths of a Palestinian woman and her daughter on a faulty rocket launch by the militants.

It also claimed that a Palestinian man killed in the Gaza Strip on Sunday was a Hamas commander. Ahmed Abed Khudri, whose car was hit by an Israeli air strike, allegedly helped transfer funds from Iran to armed factions in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Hamas militant group that controls the Gaza Strip as well as another extremist organization called the Islamic Jihad fired as many as 600 rockets and mortar shells targeting the Israeli territory. At least four people in Israel were killed and at least 10 injured by shrapnel from rockets, missiles and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip.

One man was critically injured and later died from his wounds on Sunday after a rocket struck a factory in the southern city of Ashkelon, 50km south of Tel Aviv. Another man in Ashkelon died after his car was directly hit by a rocket.

The IDF also said that the militants hit a civilian van with an anti-tank missile near Kibbutz Erez, critically injuring the driver, who later died from his injuries. The Palestinian militants claimed it was a military vehicle transporting soldiers that they struck.

Both sides also said that many civilians were injured during the recent developments.The Israeli retaliation air strikes resulted in 125 Palestinians suffering various injuries, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

The mediation efforts taken by the UN and Egypt have yielded no results so far as none of the sides appeared to be ready to stop the violence. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue striking Gaza with “massive airstrikes” in response to the militants’ rocket launches.

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