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Updated: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 03:57:18 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Gaza conflict: Palestinians in besieged neighbourhood plead for evacuation



A relative of Palestinian Mahmoud al-Shawamrah mourns during his funeral in the West Bank town of Al-Ram near Jerusalem July 22, 2014. Israeli troops shot dead al-Shawamrah during clashes with stone-throwers in the occupied West Bank on Monday, both sides said, as tensions mounted over Israel's military offensive in Gaza. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (© WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

A relative of Palestinian Mahmoud al-Shawamrah mourns during his funeral in the West Bank town of Al-Ram near Jerusalem July 22, 2014. Israeli troops shot dead al-Shawamrah during clashes with stone-throwers in the occupied West Bank on Monday, both sides said, as tensions mounted over Israel's military offensive in Gaza. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3ZO9J Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

Dozens of Palestinian families trapped by clashes between Hamas militants and Israeli troops are scrambling to flee a southern Gaza Strip neighbourhood as Israel reported that two more of its soldiers have died in the conflict.

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The Palestinian Red Crescent says it's trying to evacuate about 250 people from near Khan Younis, which has been under Israeli tank shelling and drones strikes since early Wednesday.

As the fighting near Khan Younis rages, the military says two more soldiers have been killed, raising the military's death toll to 29. That doesn't include one Israeli soldier whose remains have not yet been found.

The circumstances of the latest military casualties were not immediately clear. 

The fighting has killed at least 630 Palestinians.

Fierce fighting near Hamas tunnels

Israeli forces also pounded multiple sites across the Gaza Strip throughout the day Wednesday, including the enclave's sole power plant, and said they was meeting stiff resistance from Hamas militants near entrances to the complex network of tunnels fighters use to move weapons and supplies throughout the area. 

"We are meeting resistance around the tunnels ... they are constantly trying to attack us around and in the tunnels. That is the trend," said Israeli military spokesman Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner.

He said 30 militant gunman had been killed overnight, bringing the total to 210 since the offensive started.

Hamas's armed wing said its fighters had detonated an anti-personnel bomb as an Israeli army patrol passed, killing several troops. There was no immediate confirmation from Israel.

There was also violence in the occupied West Bank, where a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli troops near Bethlehem. The army said soldiers fired a rubber bullet at him during clashes with Palestinians hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails.

In a blow to Israel's economy, U.S., Canadian and European air carriers halted flights in and out of Tel Aviv Tuesday citing security worries after a militant rocket from Gaza hit a house near the airport. Israel urged a re-think, saying its airspace was safe.

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