Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike hit Gaza City on July 07, 2014. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
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A senior Israeli military officer denied Monday that Israel had killed six Hamas militants in an air strike, saying the men died when explosives went off in a tunnel they had dug. Israel's denial came after Hamas confirmed the deaths of 6 of their members in an Israeli airstrike. Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have risen over the killing of three Jewish teenagers in the occupied West Bank, which Israel has blamed on Hamas, and of a 16-year-old Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem.The Gaza flare-up began in mid-June, during Israel's search for the three teens, when Israel arrested many Hamas members across the West Bank. The Israeli military says more than 160 Gaza rockets have struck Israel since.Hamas fatalities Monday were the highest the group has suffered in an Israeli attack since a Gaza war in late 2012 .
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