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Gaza City (CNN) - Diplomatic efforts to end the conflict in Gaza sputtered Wednesday amid Hamas' rejection of Egyptian efforts to broker a deal and rising anger over civilian deaths - including those of four children killed while playing on the beach.
The boys, ages 9 to 11, died Wednesday when a shell from an Israeli gunship exploded near them at the Al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza, according to Palestinian officials.
An Israeli official said the shelling was another example of Hamas using civilians as human shields - intimating that the boys had been left to play near a rocket launcher.