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Israeli soldiers skirmish with Hamas inside Gaza amid air strikes in area

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Israel pounded hundreds of targets in Gaza from the air on Monday while its soldiers fought Hamas fighters during raids into the besieged Palestinian enclave where deaths are soaring and civilians are trapped in harrowing conditions.
Gaza’s health ministry said 436 people had been killed in bombardments over the past 24 hours, most in the south of the narrow, densely populated territory, next to which Israeli troops and tanks have massed for a possible ground invasion.
The Israeli military said it had struck more than 320 targets in Gaza over 24 hours, including a tunnel housing Hamas fighters, dozens of command and lookout posts, and mortar and anti-tank missile launcher positions.
With the territory’s 2.3 million people running short of basics, European leaders looked set to follow the United Nations and Arab nations in calling for a “humanitarian pause” in hostilities so aid could reach them.
The conflict is escalating beyond Gaza.
Israeli aircraft also hit positions in south Lebanon held by Hezbollah, which, like Hamas, is a group allied to Israel’s long-time foe Iran.
The Israeli army and Palestinians also clashed in the occupied West Bank. And Hamas fired more rockets into Israel.
The UN said desperate Gazans lacked food, water, medicines and places to shelter from the unrelenting pounding that has flattened swathes of the Hamas-ruled enclave.