An Israeli Merkava tank rolls near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 17, 2014
An Israeli Merkava tank rolls near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 17, 2014 © Jack Guez - AFP
An Israeli Merkava tank rolls near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 17, 2014
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AFP
Last updated: July 18, 2014

New Gaza violence hikes toll to 240

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Israeli tank fire in Gaza killed three people on Thursday night, raising the Palestinian death toll in 10 days of violence in the coastal enclave to 240, medics said.

The three were killed in east Gaza, said emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, who added that they were a four-year-old child, a 15-year-old, and a man aged 26.

Their deaths came after a strike that killed three children in the Sabra neighbourhood of central Gaza -- Jihad, Waseem and Fulla from the Shuheiber family.

Their deaths were the first to follow the end of a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire, which brought some respite for residents of the besieged Palestinian territory.

Another strike shortly afterwards in the southern city of Khan Yunis killed four-year-old girl Rahaf al-Jubur, and a 29-year-old man, Hamza al-Abadleh.

And another child died of wounds sustained in an earlier strike in Gaza City, Qudra said.

Before the ceasefire took effect at 10:00 (0700 GMT), Israeli tank fire killed three men in their twenties in the southern city of Rafah, Qudra said.

One Israeli has also been killed by rockets fired by Palestinian militants.

On the Palestinian side, 1,690 people have been injured during the conflict, Qudra said.

Israel and the Hamas movement announced Thursday they were observing a five-hour humanitarian truce requested by the United Nations.

Both sides subsequently accused the other of violating the truce.

According to figures provided by the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), more than 80 percent of those killed have been civilians.

Since the latest violence began before dawn on July 8, at least 1,048 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel, and another 282 have been shot down by the Iron Dome air defence system, army figures show.

In its air war aimed at halting the rocket fire, Israel has struck more than 1,750 "terror targets" across the coastal enclave, the army said.

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