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Israeli fire kills 18 in Gaza after truce collapse

Eighteen Palestinians have been killed and 120 wounded by Israeli strikes across Gaza since the collapse of a temporary truce, medics said on Wednesday (Aug 20).

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Eighteen Palestinians have been killed and 120 wounded by Israeli strikes across Gaza since the collapse of a temporary truce, medics said Wednesday (Aug 20).

Among the dead were the wife and infant son of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, who died in a strike late Tuesday which levelled a six-storey house in northern Gaza City, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

The latest violence raised the overall death toll in Gaza to more than 2,030, with at least 10,300 people wounded, Qudra said. Among the dead were three women, one of them heavily pregnant, and seven children. That number includes the woman's unborn baby, whom medics tried but ultimately failed to save, he said.


The violence resumed at around 1300 GMT (9pm Singapore time) on Tuesday when three rockets struck southern Israel with the air force hitting back with strikes which continued through the night and into Wednesday.

The first deadly strike killed Deif's second wife, Widad, 27, and his seven-month-old son Ali. Rescue workers on Wednesday also pulled the bodies of a 48-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy from the rubble, Qudra said.

Shortly before dawn, an air strike hit a home in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, killing eight, among them the pregnant woman, her unborn baby, three children and three men. Later in the morning, another child, 4, was killed along with a man in his 20s in a strike on Zeitun in southern Gaza City, Qudra said.

Four other men were killed in three separate strikes, two of whom died when a missile hit their motorcycle in the northern town of Beit Lahiya. At their funeral, both were wrapped in green Hamas flags, indicating they were militants. Separately, a man died of injuries sustained earlier in the conflict, which erupted on July 8.

Army figures show that since the truce collapsed, Gaza militants have fired 137 rockets over the border, of which 94 hit southern and central Israel while another 24 were shot down. In the same period, the army hit 92 targets across Gaza, a spokeswoman said.

On the Israeli side, 67 people have died, including 64 soldiers killed in combat and three civilians killed by rocket fire - one of them a Thai national. The army says five of the soldiers were killed by "friendly fire".

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