For a third day running, Israel has pursued what it is calling its “war to the bitter end” with Hamas. As Gaza took a further pounding, sources in the territory said around 350 people have now died. According to the UN, at least 57 of the dead are civilians. Israel says the offensive, launched weeks before a national election, is aimed at halting Palestinian rocket attacks that intensified after a truce with Hamas expired.But even as Israeli ground forces gathered, heightening speculation about a possible invasion of Gaza, the Islamist group remained defiant. Militants fired a rocket salvo over the border into Israel, killing one person – the second such fatality since Israeli bombing began on Saturday.