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Gaza deaths in July highest since 04, report says

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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:45 PM
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10 August 2006

GAZA - Last month was the deadliest in the Gaza Strip for nearly two years, a Palestinian research group said on Thursday, as Israels six-week offensive against militants in the territory led to a surge in killings.

The Palestinian Monitoring Group said 151 people were killed in the coastal strip during July, the highest total since October 2004, when 166 people died. Of those killed, the majority were civilians, the group said in a report.

The spiralling civilian casualties caused by Israeli actions throughout the region serve to strengthen extremists, weaken peace advocates and exacerbate the conflict, said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, commenting on the findings.

Israel launched an offensive in Gaza in late June to try to secure the release of an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants in a raid and to stop homemade rockets being fired into Israel by militants from northern Gaza.

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