Israel launches ground offensive as Gazans bury their dead
Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 01:43
Israeli troops head into the Gaza Strip to track down Palestinian militants as Gazans bury the latest victims of the conflict. Nathan Frandino reports.
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The conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza escalates again.
As night falls in the Middle East, rocket fire fills the sky.
On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the military to begin a ground offensive in Gaza, according to an official statement.
The announcement comes after a five-hour humanitarian truce ended, dashing hopes for a peaceful resolution.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN, MARK REGEV, SAYING:
"Up until now, Hamas has closed the door to any diplomatic solution, and that means that we have to strike at terrorist targets in Gaza to protect our people."
Israeli military has been deployed near the Gaza border for quite some time.
Officials say Gaza militants have fired more than 1,300 rockets into Israel.
Palestinian health officials say 233 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes.
Among the dead: three children who are laid to rest hours after being killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Palestinian officials are denouncing Israel for the violence.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HOUSING, MUFEED AL HASAYNA, SAYING:
"Israel has deliberately destroyed the homes of civilian residents on top of the heads of children and the elderly in the ugliest of war crimes and amid a peculiar silence."
The conflict was largely triggered by the killing of three Israeli teens in the occupied West Bank last month followed by the death of a Palestinian youth in a suspected revenge murder.
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