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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli aircraft, tanks and navy gunboats targeted symbols of Hamas control in Gaza City early Tuesday in the heaviest night of bombardment in three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a "prolonged" campaign in Gaza.
Bloodshed in and around Gaza surged Tuesday with strikes killing 26 Palestinians, including at least four children, as Israel announced the deaths of five more soldiers, shattering hopes for an end to three weeks of violence. "In the name of humanity, the violence must stop," pleaded UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after holding long talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to heed international calls for a ceasefire. As he spoke, the military sent messages to thousands of Palestinians in Shejaiya, Zeitun, Jabaliya, Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanun, urging them to flee their homes and seek shelter in central Gaza City as troops prepared to step up their 21-day campaign. Shortly afterwards, the cloudy skies over Gaza lit up with flashes as the army began an intensive wave of air strikes and heavy shelling across the strip that continued early Tuesday and left 26 Palestinians dead, AFP correspondents and medics said.
Sweltering summer heat in Japan has left at least 15 people dead over the past week, while more than 8,000 others were rushed to hospital with heatstroke symptoms, official figures showed Tuesday. At least six people died on Saturday alone, when the state weather agency warned temperatures had topped 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), with dripping humidity in certain parts of the country. Nearly 8,600 people were taken to the emergency room for heat-related symptoms in the week through Sunday, more than double the previous week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. The elderly were particularly vulnerable to the rising temperatures, with nearly half of those taken to hospital aged 65 or older, the agency data showed.