Israel beefs up military presence in and around Gaza
Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 00:51
Troops operate along Gaza border as Israel increases presence in the coastal strip. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Israeli forces, backed by armored vehicles and helicopters, patrolled the Israeli-Gaza border area on Sunday as fighting continued inside the coastal enclave with no sign of diplomatic breakthrough.
The military said it beefed up its presence on Sunday, with a focus on destroying missile stockpiles and a vast tunnel system Hamas built along the frontier that crosses into Israel.
At least 50 Palestinians were killed on Sunday by Israeli shelling in a Gaza neighborhood, the heaviest casualty toll since Israel launched its offensive on the Palestinian territory on July 8 after cross-border rocket strikes by militants intensified.
As the number of dead mounted, Israel and Gaza's dominant Hamas movement agreed to a two-hour "humanitarian truce" in that area, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (1030 GMT to 1230 GMT), at the request of the Red Cross. Fighting continued elsewhere in Gaza.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in the occupied West Bank, accused Israel of carrying out a massacre and declared three days of mourning.
Israel, which has accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields by launching rockets from residential areas, sent ground forces into the Gaza Strip on Thursday after 10 days of air, naval and artillery barrages failed to stop the salvoes.
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