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Israel, Hamas Continue Attacking Each Other

Smoke rises from buildings following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Rafa, southern Gaza Strip, July 11, 2014.

Smoke rises from buildings following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Rafa, southern Gaza Strip, July 11, 2014.

Israel launched more airstrikes into Gaza on Friday, as Palestinian militants continued their rocket attacks on Israel. It was the fourth day of the Israeli offensive on Hamas targets.

Violence in the area has worsened since the killing of three Jewish students last month. Those murders were followed by the killing of a Palestinian teenager in what is believed to be in answer to the killing of the Israeli students.

Israel has launched more than 1,000 airstrikes so far on Hamas targets. The strikes hit many of the homes of Hamas commanders, killing civilians. Palestinian officials said on Friday that at least 100 people have been killed in the attacks.

The officials said the dead include militants and civilians, including women and children. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “genocide” in the attacks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a parliamentary committee that a cease-fire is not being considered.

“We’ll continue to protect our civilians against Hamas attacks on them. Now Hamas, by contrast, is deliberately putting Palestinian civilians into harm’s way.”

Israel has ordered 20,000 members of its Army reserves to return to service, and has deployed tanks and artillery along the Gaza border.

Hamas fired rockets at the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. But Israel said its missile defense system had stopped most of the rockets from landing.

One of the rockets hit a gas station in the city of Ashdod near Gaza. The explosion caused by the attack injured three Israelis.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States will, in his words, “do everything in our power to help bring an end to the violence.” He said the U.S. continues to support Israel’s right to defend itself against the rocket attacks. He said Hamas has, in his words, “continued to refuse, against all urging, to disavow violence.”

On Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate cease-fire. But neither side appears to be ready to stop their attacks.

Mr. Ban spoke to an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Israel and Hamas, he said, “must exercise maximum restraint” to end the fighting.

“All parties, including Palestinian armed groups, must respect international humanitarian law. Israel has legitimate security concerns. But I’m also concerned at the many Palestinian deaths and injuries as a result of Israeli operations.”

I’m Christopher Cruise.

This report is based on stories from Fern Robinson, Michael Brown and Robert Berger.

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