A Palestinian carries a wounded girl in the emergency room of Shifa hospital in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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At least 99 Palestinians and 13 soldiers were killed Sunday as Israel ramped up a major military offensive in the bloodiest single day in Gaza in five years.The Israeli army said 13 soldiers had been killed in a series of attacks inside Gaza on the third day of a major ground operation."Over the course of the day, 13 soldiers from the IDF's Golani Brigade were killed in combat in the Gaza Strip," an army statement said.Their deaths raised to 18 the total number of soldiers killed since Israel's ground operation began late on Thursday. It was the largest number of soldiers killed in combat since the 2006 Lebanon war.More than half of Sunday's Palestinian victims were killed in a blistering hours-long Israeli assault on Shejaiya, near Gaza City, which began before dawn and has so far claimed 62 Palestinian lives, with another 250 wounded.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed the civilian casualties on Hamas using innocent civilians "as human shields" and on Sunday he insisted the military campaign had "very strong support" from the international community.
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