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Israel strikes 25 Gaza targets

Israeli army said Tuesday that its forces had attacked 25 targets in the Gaza Strip following rocket fire from the Palestinian territory. The army said in a statement that the targeted sites were of a "military nature". Israel launched several airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, claiming the move was a response to rockets allegedly fired from the Palestinian territory despite a temporary ceasefire. Palestinian resistance faction Hamas, for its part, described the Israeli attacks as a fresh attempt to undermine Egypt-hosted negotiations aimed at reaching a permanent ceasefire. For the last nine days, Palestinian factions and Israel have been holding indirect negotiations in Cairo aimed at reaching a permanent truce. A five-day ceasefire expired on Monday. But the two sides agreed to extend it by 24 hours as part of Egyptian efforts aimed at reaching a permanent deal. The ceasefire came following more than a month of devastating Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, which have left more than 2000 Palestinians dead – the vast majority of them civilians – and more than 10,000 injured.

According to Israeli figures, at least 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in recent ground battles with Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip – the highest military death toll for Israel of any of its three onslaughts on the territory.

Three Israeli civilians, meanwhile, have been killed by rocket fire from Gaza.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip – home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – has reeled under a crippling Israeli blockade that has badly affected the local economy and played havoc with residents' livelihoods.

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