Gaza toll hits 208 on 9th day of Israel air strikes

GAZA CITY – A woman and a child were among three people killed in an Israeli strike on southern Gaza on Wednesday, raising the overall death toll to 208, the emergency services said.

The latest raid took place in the southern city of Khan Yunis, killing three people from the Abu Daqqa family and wounding another five people, Ashraf al-Qudra said. Among the dead was a 10-year-old boy and a 65-year-old woman, with witnesses saying the missile struck a car in Bani Suheila in the eastern part of the city.

The strike raised Wednesday's death toll to 11, with all the victims killed in the southern Gaza Strip. Earlier, a strike on a house in Rafah, which straddles Gaza's southern border with Egypt, killed two men, and shortly afterwards, another young man was killed in a second strike. A third strike on the city killed another man, Qudra said.

In Khan Yunis, a missile struck the house of Mohammed al-Arjani, killing his 19-year-old son Abdullah. About an hour later, tank fire from inside Israel hit the eastern part of Khan Yunis, killing one person, Qudra said. Shortly afterwards, another member of the Abu Daqqa family was also killed in the same area, he said, identifying him as Mahmud Abu Daqqa, 33.

Wednesday's air strikes raised the overall toll from Israel's nine-day operation to 208 Palestinians, with more than 1,550 injured. According to figures provided by the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), more than 80 percent of the victims were civilians. So far, one person has been killed in Israel – a civilian who died on Tuesday evening in a rocket strike near the northern Erez crossing.

Four Israelis have been seriously wounded. Since the latest violence began before dawn on July 8, 990 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel, and another 244 have been shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, army figures show. About 24 more have struck Israel since midnight (2100 GMT), and another 10 have been intercepted. In the same period, Israel had struck more than 1,750 "terror targets" across the coastal enclave, the army said.

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