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Gaza toll passes 1,300 on day 23 of Israeli assault

More than 100 people died in Israeli strikes across Gaza on Wednesday (July 30), medics said, including 17 at a crowded marketplace, sending the Palestinian toll from 23 days of fighting above 1,330.

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: More than 100 people died in Israeli strikes across Gaza on Wednesday (July 30), medics said, including 17 at a crowded marketplace, sending the Palestinian toll from 23 days of fighting above 1,330.

An earlier strike also killed 16 people when shells hit a UN school.

The marketplace attack killed 17 people and wounded at least 200, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, when several shells struck the area in Shejaiya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City.

An almost equally deadly strike at a UN-run school in Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza killed 16 people and wounded scores more when two shells slammed into the facility, drawing a furious denunciation from the UN chief and the world body's agency for Palestinian refugees.

In another strike on a house in Tuffah neighbourhood in northeastern Gaza City, seven members of the same family were killed, among them four children and a woman, Qudra said.

In the southern city of Khan Yunis, a single strike killed 10 members of the same family, including a child, Qudra said, and in a later incident, seven members of another family also died as Israeli tank shelling struck the city.

Later in the day, medics pulled the bodies of another seven people from the rubble of a house in Khan Yunis, also from the same family.

In another shelling attack in Gaza City, an 11-year-old disabled girl was killed, and a 16-year-old girl died in a strike on central Gaza.

Another 28 people were killed in various attacks across the Gaza Strip as Israeli ground troops made a "significant advance" into the tiny coastal territory which is home to 1.8 million people.

So far, 1,336 people have been killed -- 106 on Wednesday alone -- and more than 7,200 wounded since the start of the Israeli offensive, which began with an intensive air campaign on July 8 and expanded when Israel sent ground troops into the Gaza periphery on July 17.

Figures released at 1200 GMT on Tuesday by the UN humanitarian agency OCHA give a figure of 1,118 dead, including at least 827 civilians, among them 243 children.

Of the 6,233 injured, 1,949 were children, it said.

OCHA also said up to 240,000 Palestinians had been internally displaced by the fighting, with the UN agency for refugees saying more than 200,000 of them had taken refuge in 85 of its shelters. The rest were staying with relatives or friends.

On the Israeli side, the army said that three more soldiers were killed on Wednesday when booby traps in a house and tunnel exploded.

Media reports said another 15 were wounded.

The conflict has cost the lives of 56 Israeli soldiers, all of whom were killed since the ground operation began, as well as two civilians and a Thai agricultural worker who were killed by rocket fire.

The Israeli army says that during its offensive it has attacked some 4,100 targets in Gaza, and militants have fired more than 2,670 rockets, of which 2,102 struck Israel and another 513 of which were shot down by its missile defence system, Iron Dome.

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