Israeli strikes kill 12 across Gaza: medics

 Israeli strikes kill 12 across Gaza: medics
Heavy smoke and fire billow following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 29, 2014.

Israeli bombardments in the early hours of Wednesday killed 12 Palestinians including at least three children, medics said, as the bloody Gaza conflict entered its 23rd day.

A shelling in the northern Gaza Strip killed an 11-year-old handicapped girl, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, with a subsequent shelling in the centre of the small coastal territory killing a 16-year-old girl.

A strike shortly afterwards in the southern city of Khan Yunis killed nine members of a single family, Qudra said, including one child who could not immediately be identified.

A middle-aged man was killed early in the morning in the southern city of Rafah.

The deaths brought the total Palestinian toll from an Israeli operation to stamp out militant rocket fire to at least 1,242, Qudra said.

On the Israeli side, militant fire, including cross-border rocket fire, has killed 53 Israeli soldiers in addition to three civilians inside Israel.

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