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Gaza toll hits 230 on 10th day of Israel air campaign


An Israeli Merkava tank rolls along the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip following Israeli air strikes in the Palestinian coastal enclave before a five-hour truce went into effect, on July 17, 2014. Photo - AFP

Israeli tank fire killed three people in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, medics said, taking the overall toll from 10 days of violence in the Palestinian territory to 230 deaths.

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

Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said the three, all men in their 20s, were killed in southern Rafah shortly before 10:00 am (0700 GMT).

Their deaths came after another seven people were killed overnight.

Two men were killed in Gaza City, another two in Deir al-Balah and a fifth in northern Beit Lahiya. One man was also killed in southern Khan Yunis and another in Rafah, also in the south, Qudra said. In addition, 1,690 people had been injured during conflict, he said.

On Thursday morning, Israel and the Hamas movement announced they were observing a five-hour humanitarian truce called for by the United Nations.

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

So far, one person has been killed in Israel -- a civilian who died on Tuesday evening in a rocket strike near the Erez crossing, medics said. At least four Israelis have been seriously wounded.

Since the latest violence began before dawn on July 8, at least 1,021 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel, and another 256 have been shot down by the Iron Dome air defence system, army figures show.

During its campaign of air strikes 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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