Palestinians flee after Israel warning, airstrikes

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Palestinians flee after Israel warning, airstrikes
A girl cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Palestinians flee their home in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Alongside the air strikes, Israel also ordered tens of thousands of residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Zeitoun and Shijaiyah neighborhoods of Gaza City, all near the border with Israel, to evacuate their homes by 8 A.M. Wednesday. The warnings were delivered in automated phone calls, text messages and leaflets. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A girl cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians flee their homes in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A girl cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Palestinians flee their home in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Alongside the air strikes, Israel also ordered tens of thousands of residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Zeitoun and Shijaiyah neighborhoods of Gaza City, all near the border with Israel, to evacuate their homes by 8 a.m. Wednesday. The warnings were delivered in automated phone calls, text messages and leaflets.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A woman cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Palestinians flee their home in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Alongside the air strikes, Israel also ordered tens of thousands of residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Zeitoun and Shijaiyah neighborhoods of Gaza City, all near the border with Israel, to evacuate their homes by 8 a.m. Wednesday. The warnings were delivered in automated phone calls, text messages and leaflets.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A woman cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians carry their belongings as they flee their homes in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A girl cries as Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians flee their homes in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A Hamas website says Israel has fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders as it resumed bombardment of Gaza, following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort. Health officials say the Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting has reached 204.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, a Palestinian girl sits on the wall of the New Gaza United Nations School, where dozens of families have sought refuge after fleeing their home in fear of Israeli airstrikes. Twenty U.N. schools took in more than 17,000 displaced Gazans, many of them children, after Saturday's warnings by Israel that civilians must clear out of northern Gaza. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, resting in his father's lap after fleeing Israeli airstrikes, Bilal Attar, 4, now shares a classroom in the New Gaza Boys United Nations school in the Gaza Strip with more than a dozen people. The children of the Attar clan have lived through three wars in just over five years, each time fleeing their homes as Israel bombarded their neighborhood in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, a donkey cart belonging to displaced Palestinians sits parked in front of a mural painted at the New Gaza United Nations School, where dozens of families have sought refuge after fleeing their home in fear of Israeli airstrikes. 20 U.N. schools took in more than 17,000 displaced Gazans, many of them children, after Saturday's warnings by Israel that civilians must clear out of northern Gaza. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, young Palestinian girl Fulla Attar, 10, rests in a classroom of the New Gaza Boys United Nations school, where dozens of families have sought refuge after fleeing their home in fear of Israeli airstrikes. 20 U.N. schools took in more than 17,000 displaced Gazans, many of them children, after Saturday's warnings by Israel that civilians must clear out of northern Gaza. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, displaced Palestinians fill empty bottles of water at the New Gaza Boys United Nations School, where dozens of families have sought refuge after fleeing their home in fear of Israeli airstrikes. 20 U.N. schools took in more than 17,000 displaced Gazans, many of them children, after Saturday's warnings by Israel that civilians must clear out of northern Gaza. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, a boy cools off on a hot summer day at the Gaza Boys United Nations School, where dozens of families have sought refuge after fleeing their home in fear of Israeli airstrikes. 20 U.N. schools took in more than 17,000 displaced Gazans, many of them children, after Saturday's warnings by Israel that civilians must clear out of northern Gaza. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, resting in his father's lap after fleeing Israeli airstrikes, Bilal Attar, 4, now shares a classroom in the New Gaza Boys United Nations School in the Gaza Strip with more than a dozen people. In Gaza, about one-fourth of the over 170 Palestinians killed in the past week were children, according to U.N. figures. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Displaced Palestinians seek refuge in a United Nations school in Gaza City after fleeing their homes Sunday, July 13, 2014. Israel has called on residents of the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes, suggesting a coming attack after its troops earlier launched a brief raid. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Displaced Palestinians seek refuge at a United Nations school in Gaza City after fleeing their homes. Sunday, July 13, 2014. Israel has called on residents of the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes, suggesting a coming attack after its troops earlier launched a brief raid. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Displaced Palestinians seek refuge in a United Nations school in Gaza City after fleeing their homes Sunday, July 13, 2014. Israel has called on residents of the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes, suggesting a coming attack after its troops earlier launched a brief raid. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Displaced Palestinians seek refuge in a United Nations school in Gaza City after fleeing their homes Sunday, July 13, 2014. Israel has called on residents of the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes, suggesting a coming attack after its troops earlier launched a brief raid. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this Monday, July 14, 2014 photo, sisters Mariam Attar, center right, and Sada Attar, center left, rest with their children inside the New Gaza Boys United Nations School after fleeing their home in fear of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City. The children of the Attar clan have lived through three wars in just over five years, each time fleeing their homes as Israel bombarded their neighborhood in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinians drive past a building destroyed by an Israeli strike on Friday, in Gaza City, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Thousands of Palestinian residents of the northern Gaza Strip fled their homes on Sunday and sought safety in U.N. shelters, heeding warnings from the Israeli military about impending plans to bomb the area in the sixth day of an offensive against Hamas that has killed more than 160 people. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A child sleeps in a woman's arms after arriving on a military plane from Gaza, at the Romanian Air Force Base 90, outside Bucharest, Romania, Monday, July 14, 2014. A group of 84 people from mixed Romanian-Palestinian families fled the conflict area and were flown out of the Gaza strip at their request by the Romanian authorities. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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By IBRAHIM BARZAK and PETER ENAV

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hundreds of Palestinian families, their children crying, fled Wednesday, as Israel intensified airstrikes on Hamas targets, including homes of the movement's leaders, following failed Egyptian cease-fire efforts. Before the renewed bombardment, Israel had told tens of thousands of residents of border areas to evacuate their neighborhoods.

The Palestinian death toll in nine days of fighting rose to 204, with some 1,450 wounded, Palestinian health officials said. On the Israeli side, one man was killed and several people were wounded since the fighting erupted on July 8.

The renewed bombings came a day after Israel initially accepted an Egyptian truce proposal that called for a halt of hostilities. That was to be followed by talks on the terms of a longer-term cease-fire, including easing Gaza's seven-year-old border blockade by Israel and Egypt.

Hamas rejected the plan and instead launched more rockets at Israel. The militant group views a significant easing of the blockade as key to its survival, but does not believe Egypt's current rulers - who deposed a Hamas-friendly government in Cairo last year - can be fair brokers.

As Cairo's effort collapsed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Hamas will pay a high price for rejecting the truce offer.

The website of the Gaza Interior Ministry said Israel warplanes carried out dozens of air strikes before dawn Wednesday, targeting 30 houses, including those of senior Hamas leaders Mahmoud Zahar, Jamila Shanti, Fathi Hamas and Ismail Ashkar.

Zahar was a key figure in Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza in 2007, while the other three were members of the Palestinian parliament elected in 2006. Many Hamas leaders have gone into hiding since the beginning of the Israeli offensive.

Alongside the air strikes, Israel also told tens of thousands of residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Zeitoun and Shijaiyah neighborhoods of Gaza City, all near the border with Israel, to evacuate their homes by 8 a.m. Wednesday. The warnings were delivered in automated phone calls, text messages and leaflets dropped from planes.

The Israeli military said in its message that large numbers of rockets were launched from these areas and that Israel plans to bomb these locations.

"Whoever disregards these instructions and fails to evacuate immediately, endangers their own lives, as well as those of their families," the message said.

On Wednesday morning, hundreds of residents of Zeitoun and Shijaiyah were seen walking in the streets, carrying small bags with belongings.

Older children carried smaller ones, in their arms or on their backs. Some of the women and children cried, looking terrified.

The Wafa Rehabilitation Center in Shijaiyah, which cares for 15 disabled and elderly patients, received several calls demanding the patients evacuate, said its director, Basman Ashi.

He said an Israel shell hit near the building, causing damage to the second floor, but no injuries. Ashi said he won't evacuate because his elderly patients have nowhere to go.

Four foreign volunteers - from England, the U.S., France and Sweden - have set up camp at the rehabilitation center to deter the military from targeting it.

English volunteer Rina Andolini, 32, said the patients range in age from 12 to over 70 and none can walk or move without assistance. She said there are also 17 Palestinian staff members.

Andolini said the patients are living in a constant state of fear, intensified by the Israeli tank shelling from across the border.

When asked about the situation at the rehabilitation center, the office of the Israeli military spokesman said its residents "have been asked repeatedly to leave."

"There is a rocket launching site in the area," the military said, adding that Gaza militants use the center to hide "behind civilians."

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