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Gaza death toll rises as Israeli ground offensive starts


Israel

Gaza death toll rises as Israeli ground offensive starts

More than 20 Palestinian people have been killed since Israel launched its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip overnight, according to the Palestinian health authority.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been wounded.

At a hospital in Gaza City, Amar Dawoud, whose five-year-old son was hurt when his house was hit, told reporters: “70 or 80 people had moved to our house looking for sanctuary. They struck us,” he said.

An Israeli soldier has also been killed since the ground operation was stepped up.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the offensive “defensive”. He said on Friday that the operation was aimed at halting the rocket fire and destroying tunnels used by militants.

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