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Wednesday, July 23

Growing Humanitarian Crisis: Palestinian Toll Tops 650 as Israel Attacks Gaza’s Sole Power Plant
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Israel continues to bombard the Gaza Strip amidst talks over a ceasefire. Israeli military attacks today include the bombing of Gaza’s sole power plant and the heavy shelling of Khan Younis, killing six people and leaving at least 20 wounded. The Palestinian death toll is near 650, including more than 160 children. Some 4,000 have been wounded. According to Gaza officials, 475 houses have been totally destroyed, and more than 2,600 homes have been partially damaged. Israel has also struck 46 schools, 56 mosques and seven hospitals. Two more Israeli soldiers have been killed, bringing the Israeli military death toll inside Gaza to 29. A farm worker from Thailand also died inside Israel after being hit by rocket fire from Gaza. On the diplomatic front, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel today for talks with Israel and then the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has endorsed a Hamas call to condition a ceasefire on ending the seven-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. Speaking today at the U.N. Human Rights Council, Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said there is a "strong possibility" Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza. Pillay cited Israel’s deadly attack on residential homes in the Shejaiya neighborhood and the shelling of the al-Aqsa Hospital. On Tuesday, U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Tel Aviv after a rocket strike landed about a mile from the airport. We go to Gaza City to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous.
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