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Palestinians Say Israeli Air Strikes Kill Four in Gaza Strip


Palestinian medical workers say Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip Tuesday killed two Hamas fighters and two Palestinian civilians.

The medical workers said two Hamas militants died in today's latest attack, while earlier strikes killed a Palestinian man and a 13-year-old boy.

The Israeli army confirms the air strikes, saying it was targeting militants.

Israel conducts almost daily raids in Gaza that it says are aimed at stopping militants from firing rockets into Israel. Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza, cutting off fuel and supplies to residents after Hamas militants took control of the region last June.

The United Nations relief agency for Palestinians, the UN Relief and Works Agency said today in its annual report that 80 percent of the population in Gaza lives on less than $2.50 a day.

U.N. officials say higher food prices and growing poverty in Gaza and other Palestinian territories are making it difficult for people to buy quality food and increasing cases of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes.

Egypt has been trying to broker a truce between Israel and the Hamas leadership to end attacks and the blockade in Gaza.

Israeli and Hamas officials met separately with Egyptian leaders in Egypt Monday.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a truce can not be reached until Hamas releases a captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Hamas has said the cease-fire and the soldier's release should remain separate issues.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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