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July 23, 2014

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Britons, Romanians evacuated from Gaza

Updated Monday, July 14, 2014 | 9:52 a.m.

LONDON (AP) — British officials said Monday that 27 Britons and their Palestinian dependents have been evacuated from Gaza amid violence in the region, while Romania said 84 of its nationals and dependents have been repatriated.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the British left Gaza late Sunday through Israel to Jordan. Romania's foreign ministry said its citizens arrived at an air base north of Bucharest Monday from Amman, Jordan on military transport aircraft sent by the government.

Israel launched an air strike campaign in the Hamas-controlled Gaza last Tuesday, saying it was responding to heavy rocket fire from the territory. At least 175 people have died since the offensive began.

The outbreak of violence followed the kidnappings and killings of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last month, and the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager in an apparent revenge attack.

Hague spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman over the weekend and urged for an immediate cease-fire.