GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the war so far.
Hours after the power plant was hit, thick black smoke still rose from the plant's burning fuel tank. The station's shutdown was bound to lead to further serious disruptions of the flow of electricity and water to the 1.7 million people packed into the narrow Palestinian territory.
The heavy strikes were a new blow to international efforts to reach a sustainable truce in the fighting, now in its fourth week.
At least 100 Palestinians were killed Tuesday, including 36 who died in airstrikes and tank shelling on five homes, according to Palestinian health officials and the Palestinian Red Crescent. In one strike Tuesday afternoon, 10 members of one family were killed and 50 people were wounded in tank shelling in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya, the officials said.
That pushed the overall death toll since the conflict began on July 8 to at least 1,156, according to Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra.
Israel has reported 53 soldiers and three civilians killed.
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