GAZA, (Reuters) – An Israeli shell killed a 75-year-old woman at her home in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, a day after 24 Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli troops, Palestinian emergency services said.
The Israeli army said it was checking the report.
Israel’s offensive into Gaza to recover a captured soldier and end cross-border rocket attacks has largely been overshadowed by fighting against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, but shows no sign of slackening.
A total of 142 Palestinians have been killed in the assault. Wednesday’s death toll was the highest since Israeli troops returned to the territory late in June, less than a year after they had withdrawn following a 38-year occupation.
Tanks and troops pushed into northeastern Gaza, a stronghold of militants firing rockets into Israel, early on Wednesday and have remained. At least 12 of those killed on Wednesday were militants.
Militants have kept up attacks with homemade rockets despite the Israeli offensive.
Israel has rejected demands for a prisoner exchange by the gunmen who captured Corporal Gilad Shalit in a June 25 border raid. Some of the gunmen came from the armed wing of the governing Hamas Islamist group.
The offensive has put pressure on the Hamas-led government, which was already struggling under a crippling U.S.-led aid embargo, designed to force the group to recognise Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence and accept past peace deals.