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Strike hits Gaza park, killing at least 10


By KARIN LAUB and TIA GOLDENBERG

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- A strike on a Gaza park killed 10 people Monday, nine of them children, as Israeli and Palestinian authorities traded blame over the attack and fighting in the Gaza war raged on despite a major Muslim holiday.

A truce between the sides remained elusive as diplomats sought to end the fighting at the start of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In Israel, meanwhile, the military said a mortar attack on southern Israel caused "deaths and injuries," but did not disclose further details. Israeli media reported that the attack killed at least four people, which saw military helicopters rushing stretchers away to local hospitals.

The Gaza park attack happened as children played on a swing in the Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City, said Ayman Sahabani, head of the emergency room at nearby Shifa Hospital. Sahabani said nine of the 10 killed at the park were children under the age of 12 and 46 were wounded.

The strike on the park occurred a few minutes after the hospital's outpatient clinic was hit, leaving several people wounded. Camera crews were prevented from filming the area of impact at Shifa.

Gaza's police operations room, Civil Defense and Sahabani blamed the attacks on Israeli airstrikes.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman, denied Israel was involved. "This incident was carried out by Gaza terrorists whose rockets fell short and hit the Shifa Hospital and the Beach (Shati) camp," he said.

Gaza's Interior Ministry spokesman Eyad al-Bozum said he believes that shrapnel found in dead bodies and in the wounded is evidence of Israel's role in the incident.

"The occupation claims that Palestinian rockets hit the hospital and the park," he said. "This is an attempt to cover their ugly crime against children and civilians, and because of their fear of scandal and international legal prosecution."

In a text message, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the strike on the park a "massacre." The Hamas military wing said that in response to the strike, it fired three rockets toward the Israeli port city of Ashdod.

Israel's military on Monday also ordered residents of parts of northern Gaza to evacuate towards central Gaza City, a sign that Israel may be broadening its assault. The areas warned included Shijaiyah, which saw one of the bloodiest days of fighting last week.

Earlier, Israeli jets struck several sites in Gaza and rockets continued to fall on Israel, the Israeli military said, disrupting a relative lull.

Israel says it launched its war on Hamas July 8 to halt incessant rocket fire from Gaza. It later broadened the assault into a ground offensive, which is meant to tackle Hamas' network of tunnels which Israel sees as a major threat.

The United Nations on Monday called for an "immediate" cease-fire in the fighting that has already killed over 1,040 Palestinians, 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians on the Israeli side. On Sunday, President Barak Obama telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to push for an immediate end to the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, according to a statement from his office, in which he voiced his dismay with the U.N. announcement. "It does not include a response to Israel's security needs and the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip," he said.

---

Goldenberg reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writers Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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say.it.aint.so July 28 2014 at 1:20 PM

Hamas created this horror.
They need to end it.
But
They want to kill every Jew on earth so I don't see an "end" until one side or the other is exterminated...!
Why are Muslims so violent..?
They are destroying themselves
with that violence.

Flag Reply +100 rate up
17 replies
aaldrew July 28 2014 at 1:14 PM

I guess the Palestinians should come down on Hamas. They are the ones putting the civilians in danger.

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14 replies
okrawimfry July 28 2014 at 1:09 PM

I do not understand this hating on Israel - Hamas started this - not Israel. Hamas puts all their missiles / weaponry at schools and civilian neighborhoods. Israel warns them to leave, they're going to bomb. Yet somehow, Israel is the bad guy in all this? Hamas loves to use their own people as shields, and then broadcast when people die.
What the heck is wrong with people?

Flag Reply +101 rate up
49 replies
jtlooking July 28 2014 at 1:21 PM

When Hamas stops firing then Israel will stop shooting rockets back. Everytime there's a cease-fire the rockets from Hamas start shooting again and start it all up.

Flag Reply +99 rate up
7 replies
madobutton July 28 2014 at 1:10 PM

why does the world oversoolk the fact that hamas kills its own people by putting these underground tunnels under civilian homes and schools. I am not saying that Israel is not partially responble but lets face it Hamas uses its own people as shiled especially children

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14 replies
fssalt July 28 2014 at 1:19 PM

good ole HP pulling for hamas

Flag Reply +72 rate up
5 replies
games7522 July 28 2014 at 1:10 PM

Looks like women and children have no meaning in a Jews mind. War crimes at the least. Stop US funding immediately for this massacre from these barbaric people.

Flag +39 rate up
55 replies
Vocem Meam July 28 2014 at 1:12 PM

Poor innocent children, caught in a war with adults and their big boy toys. Humans are monsters, everywhere you look.

Flag Reply +32 rate up
18 replies
ddt5560 July 28 2014 at 1:11 PM

My prayers are for the truth to be revealed and an end to this ....

Flag Reply +21 rate up
6 replies
kajunvol July 28 2014 at 1:41 PM

These people were pre-warned several times to get out of Gaza. They continuously send rockets into Israel every day and night. What the hell do they expect, that the Jewish people are just going to continue to endure this? AOL might have gotten rid of Huffington News but it's the same ole liberal bias in favor of the moslems.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
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