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In Gaza, pediatrics wing crowded with war wounded

Saturday - 7/26/2014, 9:24am  ET

In this Thursday, July 24, 2014 photo, Shahd al-Henawi, 8, sits in her bed at the Shifa hospital, where she is receiving treatment for a fractured skull caused by a partial collapse of the family house following a July 23 Israeli strike at the Jebaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, in Gaza City. The United Nations says civilians make up three-fourth of the dead and a majority of the wounded in the 18 day-old Israel-Hamas war. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

KHALIL HAMRA
Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The pediatrics wing of the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip is filled with the youngest victims of more than two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting.

Palestinian health officials say more than 800 Palestinians have been killed and more than 5,200 wounded by Israeli airstrikes and tank fire aimed at what Israel says are Hamas targets. The United Nations says civilians make up three-fourths of the dead and a majority of the wounded. Among the dead have been at least 192 children and teens age 17 and under, the U.N. says.

The Israeli military says it is doing its utmost to spare civilians, including by sending evacuation warnings to homes and neighborhoods that are about to be hit in Israel's air- and ground operation. However, Gaza is densely populated, with 1.7 million people squeezed into a small strip of land on the Mediterranean Sea, leaving little room for escape.

Israel says the goal of its operation is to destroy Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border and to halt rocket fire from Gaza on Israeli communities.

Here are portraits of 11 children recovering from their injuries at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital. They range in age from two to 10. Most were wounded in airstrikes on their homes or neighborhoods, with injuries ranging from a broken pelvis to a broken nose and fractured skull.

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