Gaza toll hits 166 as Israel campaign enters 6th day

Gaza toll hits 166 as Israel campaign enters 6th day

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories - Israeli strikes on Gaza killed a teenager and a woman on Sunday, medics said, raising the overall death toll to 166 as the punishing air campaign entered its sixth day.

One strike on the northern town of Jabaliya struck a house, killing a 14-year-old boy, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Shortly afterwards, another strike killed a woman in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, he said.

A man was killed in a raid on Beit Hanun in northern Gaza, where the Israeli army has warned it will sharply escalate its offensive and had urged residents to flee.

Elsewhere another person succumbed to injuries from an earlier strike, Qudra said, giving an overall toll of 166 dead.

More than 1,000 people have been wounded.

Witnesses in the southern city of Rafah also reported seeing gunmen killing a man in the middle of the street in what appeared to be the execution of someone suspected of collaborating with Israel.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from any of Gaza's armed factions.

Saturday was the bloodiest day by far of the operation, with 52 people killed.

The deadliest strike was in Gaza City just before midnight (2100 GMT) in the eastern Tuffah district where 18 people were killed in strikes that hit the house of Hamas police chief Tayseer al-Batsh and a mosque, medics said.

Batsh survived but was reportedly in critical condition, with around 50 people wounded in the strikes.

Israel began Operation Protective Edge before dawn on Tuesday in an attempt to halt cross-border rocket fire by militant groups.

Since then, approximately 660 rockets have hit Israel, while another 173 were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defence system, the army said.

On Sunday, 30 rockets struck Israel, while another five were shot down, a spokeswoman said.

No Israelis have been killed, and only three people have been seriously wounded since the start of the operation, one them a 16-year-old boy who was injured on Sunday during a strike on the coastal town of Ashkelon, medics said.

By Sunday morning, the Israeli military said it had struck 1,320 "terror targets" across Gaza, including 735 rocket launchers, 64 training bases and militant compounds, and 32 Hamas leadership facilities.

More than 20 targets were hit overnight, the army said.

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