Heavy Gaza fighting ahead of proposed 3-day truce

July 31, 2014 - 11:35 PM
Mideast Israel Palestinians

Flares light up the sky over Gaza City, Friday Aug. 1, 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel will destroy Hamas' tunnel network in the Gaza Strip designed for deadly attacks inside Israel, "with or without a cease-fire." Israel expanded what started July 8 as an aerial campaign against Hamas and widened it into a ground offensive on July 17. Since then, Israel says the campaign has concentrated on destroying cross-border tunnels militants constructed to carry out attacks inside Israeli territory and ending rocket attacks on its cities. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian officials say 17 Palestinians, including 10 members of one family, were killed in Israeli strikes ahead of a planned three-day cease-fire in the Gaza war.

Health official Ashraf al-Kidra says the family members were killed in an airstrike early Friday on their home in the southern town of Khan Younis. Gaza police reported heavy Israeli tank shelling in northern and eastern Gaza.

The cease-fire was to take effect at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday, under a deal brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations. During the lull, Egypt is to host indirect talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo on a more durable truce.

More than 1,450 Palestinians have been killed since July 8, officials say. Israel lost 61 soldiers and three civilians.