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Israeli tank shelling kills at least 24 Palestinians
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20:57, January 05, 2009

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The Israeli army forces continued its military operations into the Gaza Strip for the tenth consecutive day, killing 24 people on Monday, all of them civilians, according to Gaza medics.

Four Palestinian civilians were killed and 40 wounded in the latest round of Israeli tanks shelling on a house in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, medics and witnesses said.

The witnesses said a night watchman of a Palestinian paramedic was killed during his duty when the shells hit his tent, adding that dozens of people were going in and out of the tent when it was shelled.

Meanwhile, Haitham Dababish, chief of emergency room at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, said seven Palestinians of Abu Aeisha family were killed earlier Monday.

The seven, including the parents and five of their children, were killed when Israeli naval gunship shelled their house in the beach refugee camp in western Gaza City, he said.

Medical sources said 13 Palestinian civilians of al-Samouni family were also killed on Monday during the tanks shelling on their house in Zeitoon neighborhood in southern Gaza City.

Dababish said all the people killed and injured on Monday were civilians, noting that they were targeted by the shells of the Israeli tanks and naval gunships.

Residents in the town of Zeitoon said the Israeli ground forces, stationed south of Gaza City, launched an incursion into an overpopulated neighborhood of Gaza City, amid intensive gunfire and tanks shelling.

Moreover, Mo'aweya Hassanein, chief of emergency and ambulance services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to interfere in order to give Palestinian ambulances and rescue teams access to the victims.

On Monday, the death toll since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip on Dec. 27 reached 527, with 2,500 others wounded, according to Hassanein.

Source: Xinhua

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