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Death Toll Rises As Israel Intensifies Gaza Air Strikes

Palestinian officials say Israeli air strikes have killed at least 35 people over the past 24 hours as Israel intensifies its aerial offensive in the Gaza Strip in response to a surge in rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.

It is the worst spike in tensions in Gaza for several years.

Israel said its warplanes had struck 430 targets since the offensive was launched in the early hours of July 8.

The military said that 117 rockets fired by Palestinian militants had hit Israel on July 8. Another 45 missiles were shot down by the country's Iron Dome air-defense system.

More rockets targeting major cities were fired on July 9. Three rockets landed near Jerusalem, while two rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome over Tel Aviv.

Israel has threatened to invade Gaza if the rockets persist.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, AP, and AFP