GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Islamic Jihad's military wing said on
Thursday that its fighters had killed four Israeli soldiers and
injured others near Gaza City, as the Palestinian death toll
for the day passed 100.
"Our fighters have killed three soldiers and injured others in
a well-planned trap in Shajaiyyeh," the al-Quds Brigades
said in a statement.
There was a heavy exchange of fire in the area, it added.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the
Earlier, Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades said its militants had
killed eight Israeli soldiers.
The Israeli army has so far announced that 31 soldiers have
been killed by Palestinian fighters.
Meanwhile, 18 more Palestinians died in Israeli strikes on
the southern Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll for the day
up to 116, a health ministry spokesman said.
At least 797 Palestinians have been killed and 5,130 have
been injured since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on
Kerry in Egypt for ceasefire efforts
Washington's top diplomat John Kerry Thursday pressed
efforts to end bloodshed in Gaza, reaching out to allies of
Hamas on the 17th day of fighting.
Kerry -- who is in Egypt, which has drafted a truce proposal
for the Israel-Hamas conflict -- spoke by phone with the
foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, a US official said.
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal is based in Qatar, while
Turkey's Islamist-oriented Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan has harshly criticized Israel's assault on Hamas-
ruled Gaza as well as Egypt's role in trying to clinch a
A US official said Kerry was hoping Qatar and Turkey would
use their influence to encourage Hamas to accept a
ceasefire plan, which the Islamist group has so far rejected.
Meshaal vowed late on Wednesday there would be no end
to the fighting without the lifting of Israel's eight-year
blockade on Gaza.
A ceasefire supported by Israel, Egypt, and the international
community failed to take shape on July 15 when Hamas and
other Gaza factions said they were never consulted about
Hamas has said it refuses to accept any ceasefire that does
not involve the lifting of the eight-year siege on Gaza.
Latest Palestinian casualties
Five Palestinians died as an Israeli airstrike hit the Maan
area of Khan Younis, said Ashraf al-Qidra, Gaza's health
Five more Palestinians in al-Qarara died in another strike.
Four of them were identified as Ashraf al-Najjar, Ahmad al-
Najjar, Mahmoud Abdeen, and Muhammad al-Najjar, al-
Qidra said in a statement.
The fifth is yet to be identified.
Also in al-Qarara, Sana al-Astal, 45, and her 21-year-old son
Muhammad were killed by Israeli artillery shelling on their
In Khan Younis, Nibil al-Astal and Ashraf al-Astal were killed
in a shelling on a group of people near al-Saada hall.
Additionally, nine people were injured in a strike on al-
Ramlawi home in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern
AFP contributed to this report.