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Violence soars in Gaza as world pleads for truce

A relative reacts after seeing the bodies of three Palestinian children, killed in an explosion in a public playground on the beachfront of Shati refugee camp, as they lie in the morgue of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on July 28, 2014Bloodshed in and around Gaza surged Tuesday with strikes killing 13 Palestinians, a day after five Israeli soldiers died, 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 “stop the violence” and heed international calls for a ceasefire. “We must be prepared for a lengthy campaign,” he said in a live broadcast Monday after a mortar attack killed four people in southern Israel, and troops fought a gun battle with Palestinian militants who sneaked across the border. 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.

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