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Jul 10, 2014 11:37 AM by Associated Press

Palestinian death toll rises

JERUSALEM (AP) - The number of people killed in the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip has reached at least 85, as Israel again targeted hundreds of Hamas sites today.

The Palestinians say the strikes also hit a home and a beachside cafe. They say eight people were killed at the cafe while watching a World Cup match on TV, and that eight members of a family died when the home was hit in southern Gaza. Israel's military says it's investigating both incidents. Israel says militants deliberately endanger civilians by using homes and other civilian buildings for cover.

The Israeli military also says it struck a car in Gaza carrying three Islamic Jihad militants involved in firing rockets. Israel's missile defense system, meanwhile, intercepted more rockets fired toward Israel's heartland today. Remnants of one missile landed in a gas station in Tel Aviv after being shot down.

Israel has said Hamas must end its rocket fire from Gaza for Israel to consider a truce. Hundreds of rockets have struck across the length of Israel, disrupting life across the country.

Although Israel has mobilized 20,000 reservists for a possible ground operation in Gaza, a military spokesman says the focus for now is on the air campaign. Peter Lerner says, "The ground option needs to be the last option, and only if it is absolutely necessary."



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