Gaza, Aug 3 IANS | 3 months ago

The Palestinian health ministry said Sunday that at least 1,712 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its offensive in the Gaza Strip against Hamas July 8.

This number included 398 children, 207 women and 74 old people, the ministry said in a statement, adding that 9,080 people have been injured so far, including 2,744 children and 1,750 women, Xinhua reported.

Israel has confirmed that 61 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has also killed three civilians in Israel.

As cross-border violence in Gaza between Hamas and Israeli troops continued, both sides have vowed to keep fighting until their goals are achieved.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Saturday night that Israel's military campaign in Gaza will continue "with full power" as long as necessary to restore the country's security.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that dominates the Gaza Strip, said Netanyahu's remarks reflect that his army is in trouble in Gaza, pledging that the movement will not put its guns aside until its goals, mainly ending a seven-year blockade of Gaza, are achieved.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian official said that a comprehensive national delegation that includes the majority of Palestinian factions headed to Egypt's capital Saturday to negotiate a long-term Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire.

Since the violence erupted, regional and international powers have exerted unremitting efforts to end the ongoing fighting between Israel and Palestinian factions.

However, a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire collapsed only hours after it came into force in the early hours of Friday as Israeli military said two of its soldiers were killed and a third went missing in an ambush.

(Posted on 03-08-2014)

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