The continuing Israeli shelling of Gaza has claimed the lives of 18 Palestinians in Gaza in the early hours of Sunday as Operation Protective Edge enters its 27th day.
Of the 18 casualties, 15 occurred in the southern Gaza region of Rafah and the remaining three were killed in Jabalia, northern Gaza.
In an Israeli raid that targeted two houses in Rafah, five were killed including two children and their mother. Further ten Palestinians lost their lives as Israeli shells hit a house in a separate incident in the city.
The recent fatalities take death toll among Palestinians to 1722, while over 9,000 have been injured.
Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier believed to be captured by Hamas has been declared dead by the Israeli army. Israel’s defense minister announced today that 23-year-old Hadar Goldin was killed in action on Friday. Hamas had denied capturing him, saying it didn’t know the missing soldier’s whereabouts.
Confirmation of Goldin’s death means that 66 Israelis have now died in the fighting, all but two of them are soldiers.