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Thousands flee homes as Israel continues air raids on Gaza: Live

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Thousands flee homes as Israel continues air raids on Gaza:

Israel continued to bombard the Gaza Strip with air raids and artillery shells on Friday, as it stepped up the deployment of troops and tanks near the besieged Palestinian enclave.

At least 126 Palestinians, including 31 children, have been killed and 920 have been wounded since hostilities flared up on Monday. Hundreds of Palestinian families have taken shelter in United Nations-run schools in northern Gaza to escavpe Israeli artillery fire.

The UN has said it estimates approximately 10,000 Palestinians have left their homes in Gaza amid the Israeli offensive.

Despite international calls for an immediate halt of all hostilities, including from United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged the offensive will continue “as needed to restore calm in the state of Israel”.

Hamas fired another barrage of rockets towards Israel, hitting the city of Ashkelon in the early hours on Friday.

At least six Israelis and one Indian national have been killed. The Israeli army said hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in Israel and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.

Meanwhile, violence is brewing between Israeli settlers and Palestinian citizens in the occupied West Bank, as well as in Israel. In another potential escalation, at least three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel.

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