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Israeli strikes kill pregnant woman, Islamic Jihad spokesperson in Gaza

The death toll in Gaza hits over 815 after Israel strikes the home of pregnant woman and another of a prominent Islamic Jihad spokesperson
A Palestinian man looks through rubble after a house is destroyed in the southern town of Rafah (AFP)

Israeli forces killed a pregnant woman and a senior Islamic Jihad figure on Friday, taking the death toll in Gaza to 815, emergency services said.

Surgeons managed to save the life of the 23-year-old woman’s unborn child after an air strike hit a house in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, emergency services spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said.

A separate attack killed a senior spokesperson for Islamic Jihad, the second largest armed group in Gaza after Hamas. Salah Hasanein’s sons, 12 and 15, were also killed in the strike on Rafah, south Gaza, Qudra said.

Islamic Jihad has confirmed the deaths.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights says 81.5 percent of those killed in Gaza have been civilians and 24 percent children. The UN says more than 170,000 people have been displaced since Israel launched their military assault on 7 July.

On Friday morning Gaza’s Health Ministry said 52 entire families have been killed in the past 18 days. They said the size of families have ranged from four to 21 people.

Gaza's emergency services are struggling to cope with a huge influx of patients, with more than 5,200 injured now, and the International Red Cross has warned of stretched resources.

Israel say their operation is aimed at killing “terrorists” in Gaza and their army has regularly targeted homes belonging to Hamas members.

B’Tselem, the prominent Israeli human rights group, have said targeting the private homes of Hamas members is illegal under international law.

“Euphemisms such as "surgical strikes" or "operational infrastructure" cannot hide the facts: illegal attacks of homes, which constitute punitive home demolition from the air, come at a dreadful cost in human life,” the group said in a statement posted online.

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