Friday, July 25

Palestinian death toll at 838 as Israel announces death of soldier

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army said on Friday that 

one of its soldiers had been killed in Gaza earlier in the day, 

bringing the total number of soldiers dead in the fighting to 

at least 33 as the Palestinian death toll rose to 838.

The army identified the soldier as Yair Ashkenazy, 36, 

saying he was killed "earlier today during operational 

activity in the northern Gaza Strip."

Since the beginning of Israel's land invasion of Gaza, 33 

Israeli and soldiers have been killed, according to the army.

Palestinian militant groups have announced that they have 

killed several more soldiers, claiming that the Israeli army 

has not admitted the deaths of a handful of its troops.

Meanwhile, at least 41 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza 

Strip in Israeli shelling from air, land, and sea on Friday.

Two Palestinians died in artillery shelling on eastern Khan 

Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

20-year-old Palestinian Jihad Hassan Hamad was also killed 

in Israeli bombing on Rafah.

Imad Abu Kamil, 20, was killed in an Israeli attack on al-

Mughraqa in central Gaza, health ministry spokesman 

Ashraf al-Qidra said.

Meanwhile, seven bodies were pulled from rubble in the 

Shujaiyya area near Gaza City on Friday.

The bodies show signs of decay, indicating that the people 

were likely killed during Israeli forces' massive shelling and 

bombing of Shujaiyya last Sunday.

Two more bodies were pulled from the al-Zaytoun 

neighborhood of Gaza City. They were identified as 

Muhammad Yassin Siyam and Rami Muhammad Yassin.

In an initial count, 66 Palestinians were killed during what 

has been dubbed the "Shujaiyya massacre" on July 20, but 

several more bodies have been found since then.

Gaza militants continue to launch attacks

Meanwhile, Hamas said it had fired three rockets at Israel's 

main airport, a day after US and some European airlines 

had resumed flights after a two-day suspension.

"At 11:45 am, the Qassam Brigades bombarded Ben Gurion 

airport with three M75 rockets," a statement from Hamas's 

armed wing said.

EU and US authorities had ordered all commercial flights 

suspended after a rocket struck near runways on Tuesday, 

briefly shutting Israeli air links to the outside world in what 

Hamas claimed as a "victory" in a deadly conflict now in its 

18th day.

Additionally, the al-Qassam Brigades said they targeted 

Ashdod with five grad missiles, Tel Aviv with 5 rockets and 

an M75 missile, and Ashkelon with five grad missiles.

Fatah's al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for targeting 

Beersheba and Ashdod with three grad missiles.

And the Popular Resistance Committees' al-Nasser Salah al-

Din Brigades said they had targeted Israeli towns near Gaza 

with 70 missiles.

Rockets from Gaza have killed two Israeli civilians so far, 

one of whom was volunteering at an Israeli military site.

Another rocket killed a Thai migrant worker on Wednesday.

AFP contributed to this report.

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