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Intense combat as Israeli troops encircle Gaza city

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Intense combat as Israeli troops encircle Gaza city

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Israeli troops are said to have partially encircled Gaza city as their ground assault into the Palestinian territory gathers momentum.  House by house fighting with Hamas militants is reported in some places.   
 
At least three children are among a dozen Palestinian civilians said to have been killed in overnight battles.  
 
Israeli forces are thought to have driven a wedge through the centre of the Strip with clashes taking place in several key locations.
 
The aerial onslaught has also continued. Homes of Hamas members and tunnels used to smuggle weapons were among the targets. 
 
Israel says dozens of Hamas militants have been killed since the weekend drive to end rocket attacks on its territory. One Israeli soldier has been killed.