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KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Al Haj family never heard it coming: An Israeli missile smashed into their home in the middle of the night, destroying the structure and killing eight relatives in a matter of seconds. A survivor said all the dead were civilians.
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - At least 78 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israel's Gaza offensive, Palestinian officials said on Thursday as militants in the enclave kept up rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities. As Israeli officials seemed to hint at a possible invasion by ground forces, eight members of one family, including five children, were killed in an early morning air strike that levelled two homes at Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border, the Palestinian Health ministry said. Israel's military made no comment on what would be the deadliest strike since its began its assault on Tuesday. U.S. President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call that the United States was willing to help negotiate a ceasefire, the White House said.