Gaza Battle Rages as US Pushes for Truce

Updated: 07/23/2014 12:39 PM
Created: 07/23/2014 12:35 PM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Even as Secretary of State John Kerry reports progress in efforts to work out a truce, Israeli troops have been battling Hamas militants near a town in the southern Gaza Strip.

The fighting forced dozens of families to flee. A Palestinian health official says at least eight militants were killed.

The Palestinian Red Crescent has been trying to evacuate about 250 people from the area, which has been pummeled by air strikes and tank shelling since early today. A resident says homes are "collapsing upon us."

To the north, an airstrike demolished a home in Gaza City, killing three people.

Meanwhile, police in Israel say a foreign worker was killed when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near the city of Ashkelon. Israel also said two more of its soldiers have died in the conflict, bringing the military death toll to 29.

In Jerusalem, 30,000 people attended the funeral of Max Steinberg, a 24-year-old from Southern California who was serving in the Israeli military. He was killed in an attack on an armored personnel carrier on Sunday.

Kerry flew into Tel Aviv today even though the U.S. government has banned airlines from flying there after a Hamas rocket hit near the airport yesterday. He's meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Photo: MGN