Israel steps up Gaza ground offensive, civilian casualties grow

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Israeli ground troops enter the Gaza Strip, July 17, 2014. REUTERS/IDF

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Israeli soldiers carry their gear as they walk towards a staging area outside the Gaza Strip July 18, 2014. Israel stepped up its land offensive in Gaza with artillery, tanks and gunboats on Friday and declared it could "significantly widen" an operation Palestinian officials said was killing ever greater numbers of civilians. Israeli gunboats lit up the sky with their fire before dawn while helicopters fired into the coastal...

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Smoke rises following what witnesses said were Israeli air strikes in Gaza City July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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Smokes rises following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza City July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

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Il fumo si leva a Gaza City dopo un raid aereo israeliano, 18 luglio 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

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A Palestinian man, who fled his house following an Israeli ground offensive, rides in a donkey cart loaded with his belongings as he arrives to stay at a United Nations-run school in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 18, 2014 . REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

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