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Mourners carry the bodies of the four Palestinian children from the Bakr family, who were killed on a beach by a shell fired by an Israeli naval gunboatReuters

Israeli war planes intensified attacks across the Gaza Strip, targeting senior Hamas leaders and bombing a coastal area, where four Palestinian boys were killed.

The four boys, who were cousins and ages 9 to 11, were killed while playing on a beach off a coastal road west of Gaza City, said Ashraf Al Kedra, a Palestinian doctor. Seven others — adults and children — were wounded in the strike, he said.

The boys' uncle, Abdel Kareem Bakr, raged at Israel after the attack. "It's a cold blooded massacre," he said. "It's a shame who come they didn't identify them as kids with all of the advanced technology they claim they're using." The Israeli military said it was looking into the incident.

Rocket fire has killed an Israeli man, the first Israeli fatality in eight days of fighting. In Gaza, 213 people have been killed and close to 1,500 wounded so far.

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Rockets fired from Gaza City are launched towards Israel.AFP
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Smoke billows from the coastal Palestinian enclave following an Israeli air strike.AFP
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A Palestinian girl, who medics said was wounded in an Israeli air strike, lies on a bed at a hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.Reuters
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Employees of Gaza City's al-Deira hotel carry a wounded boy following an Israeli military strike on the beach neaby. Four children who were on the beach were killed in the attack, medics said, with several injured children taking refuge at a nearby hotel where journalists were staying.AFP
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Israeli security personnel look at a window damaged by shrapnel after a short-range rocket landed near the Erez crossing. An Israeli civilian was killed by the rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, the first Israeli fatality in more than a week of fighting with Palestinian militants.Reuters

 Gaza militants fired more than 120 rockets and mortar rounds at Israel on Tuesday, during what Egypt had hoped would be a period of de-escalation.

A particularly heavy barrage came around dusk, with more than 40 rockets hitting Israel in just a few minutes, including one that fell on an empty school. An Israeli man in his 30s was killed near the Gaza border when he was delivering food to soldiers — the first Israeli death.

Hamas' defiance prompted Israeli warnings. In an address aired live on TV, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Hamas chose to continue fighting and will pay the price for that decision. When there is no cease-fire, our answer is fire."

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Palestinians walk past the house of senior Hamas official Mahmud al-Zahar after it was destroyed by an overnight Israeli air strike in Gaza City.Reuters
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A Palestinian man inspects a house after it was destroyed by an overnight Israeli air strike in Gaza City.AFP
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An elderly Palestinian woman grieves the loss of relatives outside a hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip following an Israeli military strike.AFP
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Palestinians look through a damaged window at the remains of a neighbouring house that was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City.Reuters
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A car damaged in an Israeli air strike that targeted the house of top Hamas political leader Mahmoud Zahar is seen in Gaza City.Reuters
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Children look at the remains of a car hit in an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.Reuters

Netanyahu said Israel would have liked to see a diplomatic solution, but would keep attacking until rocket fire stops and Hamas' military capabilities are diminished. The Israeli leader said he would "widen and increase" the campaign against Hamas, but it remains unclear if that will include a ground offensive.

Israel has warned it might send troops into Gaza and has massed thousands of soldiers on the border. However, entering Gaza would likely drive up casualties on both sides.

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Israeli soldiers prepare 155mm artillery cannons at an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip.AFP
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Israeli soldiers clean their weapons at an army deployment area near the border with the Gaza Strip.AFP