TEL AVIV, July 20 /ITAR-TASS/. Over 40 Palestinian were killed on Sunday in the Israeli army’s air raids and artillery fire on Gaza City’s eastern suburb of Shijai, the Palestinian enclave’s medical services reported.
The victims included a cameraman of a local TV channel and an ambulance driver, the Palestinian media reported.
About 40,000 residents of Shijai, which is home to 200,000 Palestinians, have left the district on Sunday as the area has been subjected to massive strikes after Israel intensified last night the ground phase of its Protective Edge army operation against Hamas militants.
The Israeli army announced last night it would expand the ground phase of its military operation launched on Thursday.
Since July 8, when Israel started the air phase of its army operation in the Gaza Strip, over 370 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,000 wounded.
The Israeli army’s press office reported that at least 130 Palestinians had been killed since the start of the ground operation in the Gaza Strip, including 110 activists of radical organizations.
During the ground operation, the Israeli army found 40 underground tunnels connecting rocket launch sites, weapons depots and command centers. Israel says the destruction of these tunnels is the main goal of the ground army operation in the Palestinian enclave.
Since Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip, Israel’s army confirmed the death of five servicemen while at least another 17 were wounded.
Palestinians’ rocket attacks on Israeli cities have killed two Israelis over 13 days since the start of the air phase of the Israeli army’s operation in the Gaza Strip. As many as 400 Israelis have been hospitalized, including 283 people in a state of shock.
Palestinian radicals continue rocket attacks on Israel, despite the Israeli army’s operation in the Gaza Strip.
Over 130 rockets have been fired on Israeli cities from the Palestinian enclave in the last twenty-four hours. Tel Aviv has come under rocket attack for the 20th time over 13 days.
About 2,000 rockets have been fired on Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip since July 8.
Hamas militants set a course for liberation of Israel-occupied Palestinian territories right from the start of their activity on December 14, 1987. The group has made a few dozen terrorist attacks against military and civilian facilities of Israel.
Hamas regularly shells Israel’s territory with homemade rockets. In response, Israel shells Gaza and holds military operations there to suppress militant activity and destroy Hamas’ military structure. According to Hamas, 1,365 Israelis died in 1987-2011 in terrorist attacks made by its militants.