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Israelis battle Hamas forces in Gaza City

65 Palestinians, 13 soldiers dead; thousands flee homes

Posted: July 21, 2014 at 4:01 a.m.

Palestinian medics carry a man injured in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood that came under fire as Israel widened its ground offensive against Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, July 20, 2014. Tens of people were killed in Shijaiyah and many more bodies were believed buried under the rubble of homes, health officials said. They are the latest casualties in a nearly two-week conflict that has killed some 380 Palestinians and seven Israelis. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Escalating their ground offensive, Israeli troops backed by tanks and warplanes battled Hamas militants in a crowded neighborhood of Gaza City early Sunday. The fighting, including heavy Israeli tank fire, killed 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers, forced thousands to flee, and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes.

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