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Gaza: Palestinian death toll rises to 139, including 39 children

Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip entered its sixth consecutive day, with Israeli air raids hitting a refugee camp where at least 10 Palestinians, including eight children, were killed.

In the early hours of Saturday, rescue workers were still trying to pull bodies from under the rubble as more people are believed to be dead. Hamas, the group that controls the besieged enclave, responded to the latest attack by firing a barrage of rockets towards the southern Israeli towns of Askhelon and Ashdod. No casualties were reported.

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At least 139 Palestinians, including 39 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Monday. Some 950 others have been wounded. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have killed at least 13 Palestinians protesting against continued Israeli occupation and the ongoing bombardment of Gaza. Confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators continued into the night in occupied East Jerusalem.

At least eight people in Israel have also been killed. The Israeli army said hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in Israel and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.

As violence escalates, the humanitarian crisis grows steadily worse with thousands of Palestinian families taking shelter in United Nations-run schools in northern Gaza to escape Israeli artillery fire. The UN has said it estimates approximately 10,000 Palestinians have left their homes in Gaza amid the Israeli offensive.

Palestinians were set on Saturday to mark 73 years since the ethnic cleansing of their homeland by Zionist militias to create the state of Israel. The event is called the Nakba, or “Catastrophe”, in Palestinian history.

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