published Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Israel, Hamas trade fire in lead-up to brief truce

  • photo
    Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in the Gaza strip as seen from the Israel Gaza border on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Israeli military says it has struck 37 targets in Gaza ahead of a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire meant to allow civilians to stock up after 10 days of fighting.

The Gaza Interior Ministry says Israeli aircraft struck 30 houses early Thursday, including those of Hamas leaders Khalil al-Haya and Fathi Hamad. The ministry says four people were killed and that a 75-year-old woman died of wounds from the day before.

The military confirmed the strikes on the homes of the Hamas leaders. It says Hamas fired 11 rockets at Israel early Thursday.

Palestinian health officials say that in total, 227 Palestinians have been killed. On the Israeli side, one man was killed since July 8.

The humanitarian cease-fire is to begin at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT, 3 a.m. EDT).

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