Over 500 people have been killed and more that 3,000 injured in Gaza over the past two weeks from the start of the military operation in the Gaza Strip on July 8. More than 100,000 people have left their homes.
The immediate reason for the operation was that cities in southern Israel were massively shelled by Hamas military wing. As many as 121 Palestinian children have been killed and 904 injured as a result the first phase of Israel’s air air raids on the Gaza Strip, the UNICEF reported earlier. Children make one-third of the total number of victims among peaceful civilians.
On July 15, there was a brief ceasefire. Israel's Defense Forces abstained from strikes on the Gaza Strip for six hours abiding by a ceasefire agreement suggested as part of Egypt’s peace initiative. Palestinian militants rejected Cairo’s plan of a ceasefire and continued rocket attacks on Israel. The ground phase of the military operation against Hamas militants began on July 17. The Israeli army’s casualties on the sixth day from the beginning of the ground phase of the operation in Gaza reached 27 killed and 123 wounded.
The two weeks of the deadly confrontation between Israel's Defense Forces and militants of Hamas' radical wings in this photo gallery by ITAR-TASS.