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Israel shells hit hospital in Gaza, official says

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israeli tank shells struck a hospital in the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing four people and wounding 60, Palestinian officials said, as Israel's defense minister vowed to press on with the war against Hamas "as long as necessary."

Meanwhile, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry headed to Cairo to try to renew cease-fire efforts aimed at ending the Israel-Hamas fighting that has killed at least 530 Palestinians and 20 Israelis and displaced tens of thousands of Gazans in the past two weeks.

Despite the new diplomatic push, Israel continued to attack targets in the densely populated coastal strip from the air and from tanks, while Hamas fired more rockets and tried to infiltrate into Israel.

A dozen shells hit the Al Aqsa hospital in the town of Deir el-Balah on Monday, Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra said. He said four people were killed and 60 wounded when the shells landed in the administration building, the intensive care unit and the surgery department.

Live footage on Hamas' Al Aqsa TV station showed wounded being moved on gurneys into the emergency department.

A doctor at the hospital, Fayez Zidane, told the station that shells hit the third and fourth floor as well as the reception area.

The Israeli military said it was looking into the report.

In one of several airstrikes, 25 people were buried under the rubble of a home in the southern town of Khan Younis, including 24 from the same family. Rescue workers pulled the bodies from the wreckage Monday.

"Twenty-five people!" said family member Sabri Abu Jamea. "Doesn't this indicate that Israel is ruthless? Are we the liars? The evidence is here in the morgue refrigerators. The evidence is in the refrigerators."

Another Israeli airstrike hit the home of the Siyam family in southern Gaza, near the town of Rafah, said the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The strike killed 10 people, including four young children and a 9-month-old baby girl, al-Kidra said.

Hamas militants, meanwhile, tried to sneak into Israel through two tunnels, the latest in a series of such attempts. The Israeli military said 10 infiltrators were killed after being detected and targeted by Israeli aircraft.

Hamas also fired 50 more rockets at Israel, including two at Tel Aviv, causing no injuries or damage. Since the start of the Israeli operation, Hamas has fired almost 2,000 rockets at Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the Gaza military operation would have no time limit.

"If needed we will recruit more reservists in order to continue the operation as long as necessary until the completion of the task and the return of the quiet in the whole of Israel especially from the threat of the Gaza Strip," Yaalon told a parliamentary committee.

Israel accepted an Egyptian call for an unconditional cease-fire last week, but resumed its offensive after Hamas rejected the proposal.

Hamas says that before halting fire, it wants guarantees that Israel and Egypt will significantly ease a seven-year border blockade of Gaza.

"The resistance (Hamas) will not respond to any pressure," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a text message, in a reference to the renewed cease-fire efforts.

Kerry left Washington early Monday for Cairo, where he will join diplomatic efforts to resume a truce that had been agreed to in November 2012.

Hamas remains deeply suspicious of the motives of the Egyptian government, which has banned the Muslim Brotherhood, a region-wide to which Hamas also belongs.

Israel invaded Gaza late last week, preceded by a 10-day air campaign. Air and artillery strikes have targeted Gaza's border areas in an attempt to destroy tunnels and rocket launchers.

Sunday marked the single deadliest day in Gaza since the conflict erupted on July 8, with more than 100 Palestinians killed, according to Palestinian health officials. Most died in the first major ground battle of the conflict, in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood, which Israel says is a major source for rocket fire against its civilians.

In response to the escalation, the U.N. Security Council expressed "serious concern" about the rising civilian death toll and demanded an immediate end to the fighting.

On Sunday afternoon, rescue workers making a last sweep through Shijaiyah had heard the voice of a woman under the rubble, pleading for help.

The team left because it deemed the situation too dangerous, but returned later Sunday with a bulldozer to rescue the three people trapped underneath.

Seven-year-old Bissam Dhaher, her face bruised and bandaged, was recovering Monday at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital. Relatives watched over her as the girl slept. Her uncle remained hospitalized, while an aunt - the one who had called out for help - was released, relatives said.

On Sunday evening, Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri in Gaza claimed his group had captured an Israeli soldier. An announcement on Gaza TV of the soldier's capture set off celebration in the streets of West Bank.

But there was no official confirmation or denial of the claim in Israel.

For Israelis, a captured soldier would be a nightmare scenario. Hamas-allied militants seized an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid in 2006 and held him captive in Gaza until Israel traded more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, some of whom were involved in grisly killings, for his return in 2011.

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jayde1958 July 21 2014 at 11:38 AM

How long will this continue? How long is the hatred of the Arabs & Persians of the Jews? Will the Arabs stop firing rockets into Israel? Will the Arabs and Persians continue to try to "wipe Israel off the map?" If the answer is affirmative to any of the above questions; then it will continue. They fight out of hatred. The Israelis fight for survival.

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23 replies
rreef1993 July 21 2014 at 11:37 AM

Poor Hamas they hide their missals in the hospital and cry when Israel takes them out - Palestinians kick Hamas out of your territory and this would not happen.

Flag Reply +81 rate up
14 replies
xpphil12 July 21 2014 at 11:44 AM

Why does AOL continue to spin this against Israel? It is very stupid on the part of AOL.It would not surprise me if Hamas blew up part of the hospital, they are depraved,un-educated street thugs.

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17 replies
rauleballie July 21 2014 at 11:46 AM

I feel that Hamas would bomb the hospital themselves and say the Jews did it, you must remember these are the scum of the earth that the Jews are dealing with

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5 replies
ron July 21 2014 at 11:42 AM

You can't trust what terrorists say and you for sure can't trust what the media is saying. Both have an agenda and often they are the same agenda.

Flag Reply +60 rate up
4 replies
sandyatc July 21 2014 at 11:44 AM

Obama needs to get out of Israel's business. THEY finish what they start to protect their innocent civilians. Unless ALL the tunnels and the weaponry are destroyed, no one will be safe on either side.
And stop your whining about Russia. What are you going to do? Please go on vacation and think how you can keep the criminals sneaking into OUR Country out!
Obama is NO FDR. FDR knew the enemy and kicked ass. Not kissed it!

Flag Reply +51 rate up
10 replies
nnojr July 21 2014 at 11:39 AM

As long as the cowards of Hamas hid behind the women, children and Hospitals, they bring this hell on the Palestinians! Hamas must go !

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1 reply
charlie nnojr July 21 2014 at 12:30 PM

Hamas that is slaughtering innocents it will continue as long as one radical Muslim is alive. all their rocket launchers are in civilian populated areas and these cowarde hide in tunnels and the innocents are locked outside then then blame Israel for atrosities when it is they who should be drawn and quartered. these Muslims have been at it since Cain Killed able and they still don't get it.

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2 replies
mwoody1955 charlie July 21 2014 at 12:52 PM

You make it sound like everyone knows where Hamas is hiding there rockets. Of course this is a lie. Otherwise Israel wouldn't be bombing innocent children spending a day at the beach right? No one is suffering more than the innocent men, women and children of the Palistenian people. Not Hamas and surely not Iarael.

Flag +1 rate up
lruben1049 charlie July 21 2014 at 12:52 PM

Charlie you haven't a clue what you're talking about. Research the centuries-old history of this conflict, and you'll sing a different tune! Do your best not to open your mouth without having the facts. I didn't know there were so many naive and ignorant people in this world. Dayum!

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agdathome July 21 2014 at 11:39 AM

Until the Muslim/Hamas religion is done away with, will the world have peace.

Flag Reply +42 rate up
5 replies
kevin.williams79 July 21 2014 at 11:40 AM

Since the killers of Hamas use its citizens as human shields, its hospitals, schools, mosques as weapons depot and a shelter for firing at Israel. They can expect to elicit return fire.

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1 reply
rodeda13 kevin.williams79 July 21 2014 at 5:13 PM

There is NO proof that that was done in this case, As far as everything I have heard, it was just a hospital, doing what hospitals do, patching up the results of israels genocide. NO human shield reports from there. Just your wrong headed mind.

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3 replies
coopdabomb July 21 2014 at 11:43 AM

IF this is true they were told to leave and didn't this is war and war is hell.

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1 reply
peterkopcych coopdabomb July 21 2014 at 5:39 PM

Hamas you are cowarde
I want to thank Israel for what they do
Its Israel today AND OUR USA next
thanks you Israel

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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