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Israel-Hamas fighting enters 18th day

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli aircraft struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip early Friday, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, while ground troops and Hamas gunmen fought intense battles in the north and center of the territory, Palestinian officials said.

The Israeli military confirmed dozens of sites were hit, including what it said were Hamas command posts, but did not elaborate.

With the current round of fighting entering its 18th day, Israel's Security Cabinet was to meet later Friday to decide whether to expand its operation or consider ideas for a cease-fire.

One plan calls for a five-day humanitarian truce during which Israel and Hamas would negotiate new border arrangements for blockaded Gaza, said Hana Amireh, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official in the West Bank, who is involved in cease-fire efforts.

Hamas has said it will not halt fire without international guarantees that Egypt and Israel will open Gaza's border crossings and end their seven-year-old border blockade. Israel and Egypt are reluctant to ease the blockade, fearing this will enable Hamas to tighten its grip on Gaza.

Israeli media reported that the military also wants more time to continue destroying rocket sites and tunnels from Gaza into Israel that Hamas has used to launch attacks. The military has found 31 tunnels but only destroyed about one-third of them so far.

Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, thousands of Israeli security forces were deployed for possible Palestinian protests after Friday prayers at a key Muslim holy site, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

The night before, thousands of Palestinians protesting the Gaza fighting clashed with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. One Palestinian was killed and dozens were wounded, according to Palestinian medical officials.

In Gaza, the death toll soared to 808, after 115 Palestinians were killed on Thursday in one of the deadliest days of fighting, said Ashraf al-Kidra, a Palestinian health official. Thirty-four Israelis, among them 32 soldiers, and a Thai worker have been killed since July 8.

Early Friday, Israeli warplanes struck 30 houses throughout the Gaza Strip, including the home of Salah Hassanein, a leader of the military wing of Islamic Jihad, the second-largest militant group in Gaza after Hamas.

Hassanein and two of his sons were killed in the strike, said Gaza police spokesman Ayman Batniji and al-Kidra.

Over the past two weeks, Israeli aircraft have repeatedly hit homes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders. Most had gone into hiding, but the strikes killed a leader of an Islamic Jihad rocket squad, a Hamas commander and a son of senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya, according to the Israeli military.

Such strikes have also claimed the lives of a large number of civilians. A Gaza human rights group said earlier this week that close to 500 homes have been damaged or destroyed in direct hits from the air, and that more than 320 people have been killed in their homes as a result of military strikes.

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frankiegallo33 July 25 2014 at 5:52 AM

Continue defending your people Israel, against these terrorists. It's your right & obligation to do so.
Whatever you do, don't trust Kerry or Obama.
Kerry does only what Obama tells him.
And, Obama only wants to strengthen Iran by weakening Israel.
Please don't trust them. Americans did and look what he's done to us. We're much more divided and it feels like even we're closer to a civil war.

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29 replies
PG July 25 2014 at 6:08 AM

Huff Post, you forgot to mention that Hamas refuses a cease fire. Hamas wants civilian deaths so sites like AOL can keep talking about the Palestian victims.

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11 replies
Bob July 25 2014 at 6:22 AM

Isn't it amazing how the leftist, socialist,
liberal media concentrates on how bad
Israel is for defending themselves. What ever happened to Syria where over 100,000 have been killed. Old news I guess.

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14 replies
dm2473 July 25 2014 at 6:04 AM

The Gazan cicilain casualites and number of damaghed or destroyed homes is 100% caused by Hamas using civilian areas to hide thier wepaons and to launch attacks.
The Arabs should get out from behind the skirts of the women, and fight like men.

Flag Reply +76 rate up
15 replies
warning.warning.warning July 25 2014 at 9:26 AM

We Will Bomb Your Location
Tomorrow At 10:00 A.M.
Be Gone Or Be Dead...
But Hamas will NOT allow their "Human Shields" to leave the Hamas weapons 'unprotected'..

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4 replies
joeljoey5160 July 25 2014 at 6:26 AM


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7 replies
Dave July 25 2014 at 6:27 AM

I feel for the families of the dead and wounded Israelies. They fought against terrorists who targeted innocent civilians. Hamas used their civilians as shields. May they rot in hell.

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2 replies
Richard Ware Dave July 25 2014 at 10:03 AM

Israelite's are no better than anyone else God rejected them when they rejected and crucified Christ!! that is why Hitler destroyed so many of them, let them rot in hell!! I hope all the WAR MONGERS kill one another and leave the land DESOLATE!!

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5 replies
CAIN Dave July 25 2014 at 11:57 AM


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1 reply
sunshineclaimsfl CAIN July 25 2014 at 12:30 PM

Hmm let me understand you correctly....the people that send teenagers in to blow themselves up to kill innocent Israelis are not animals? Or when they abduct and murder three teens thats ok too? Or when they blow up Israeli school buses thats ok too? Hmmm never heard Israelis doing this??? Really I think we know who the animals are....why dont you go stone a woman for showing a little skin instead of wasting our time......

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cartproduce July 25 2014 at 6:10 AM

Hamas started it I have no sympathy for me media outlets like this trying their best to help Hamas world sympathy cause too bad its not working except for Kerry and Obama

Flag Reply +47 rate up
5 replies
coopdabomb July 25 2014 at 6:15 AM

Take out every last one. muslims I hope you remember 9/11 while you bleed in the streets.

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3 replies
dm2473 July 25 2014 at 6:02 AM

Good riddance to Sallah Hasseinein. Thr world is now a better place.

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1 reply
jdm61cc dm2473 July 25 2014 at 10:44 AM

Cue crocodile tears for the late Mr. Hasseinein

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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