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Pictures | Fri Jul 18, 2014 | 5:08pm EDT

Israel steps up Gaza ground offensive, civilian casualties grow

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

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

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 enclave. Hamas fired mortar rounds at the invading troops and rockets across the border at the southern Israeli towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) - RTR3Z7OB

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...more

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 enclave. Hamas fired mortar rounds at the invading troops and rockets across the border at the southern Israeli towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) - RTR3Z7OB
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Smoke rises following what witnesses said were Israeli air strikes in Gaza City July 18, 2014.  REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...more

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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