Israeli attack on town of Shaja'ia kills dozens

Shelling on town of Shaja'ia results in the deaths of 60 people and injuries of 300 as hundreds flee.
By Danielle Haynes  |  July 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM
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GAZA, July 20 (UPI) -- An expanded ground attack by Israel resulted in the shelling of the the town of Shaja'ia, east of Gaza, killing at least 60 people and injuring 300.

The attack led to hundreds of Palestinians fleeing into Gaza City, though the Israeli military said it had warned citizens in the town to evacuate days ago.

"Hamas ordered them to stay. Hamas put them in the line of fire," the Israeli military said.

A cease-fire, requested by the International Committee of the Red Cross, took place for two hours Sunday afternoon so emergency officials could take care of the dead and injured.

Thirteen Israeli soldiers died overnight after Hamas said it lured a tank into a field rigged with improvised explosive devices.

More than 410 people have died in Gaza, Palestinian officials said.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he wants Gaza to be demilitarized in the future.

"These people are the worst terrorists -- genocidal terrorists. They call for the destruction of Israel and they call for the killing of every Jew, wherever they can find them," he said of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

"We're doing everything we can not to harm the people of Gaza," he added. "Hamas is doing everything they can to make sure the people of Gaza suffer."

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