Death toll rises as Israeli troops push further into Gaza

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Death toll rises as Israeli troops push further into Gaza

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Israeli troops have pushed deeper into the Gaza Strip with the aim of weakening the enclave’s Hamas rulers by destroying rocket launching sites and tunnels.

They have fired volleys of tank shells and clashed with Palestinian fighters. It’s still unclear how long the ground offensive, which began on Thursday night, will last.

Israel has said its forces, which are mainly in the north, east and south of the Gaza Strip, have faced little resistance.

Israel has reported further rockets being launched from the enclave into their territory.

Meanwhile, a funeral was held for three children from the same family who were killed by an Israeli strike on their home in Beit Lahiya.

Over 25 Palestinians have been killed since Israeli ground forces entered the enclave pushing the total since the start of the conflict to around 260.

The UN refugee agency has said around 17,000 Palestinians have been sheltering from the violence in 20 special United Nations schools in Gaza.

One Israeli soldier also died overnight and became the country’s second victim since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.