Twenty-three Palestinians, Israeli soldier killed in Gaza ground offensive
Friday, July 18, 2014 - 01:36
Israel steps up its ground offensive in Gaza early on Friday using tanks and infantry to battle Hamas fighters. Sarah Toms reports.
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Explosions light up the sky in Gaza, as tanks and troops roll in.
Night vision images show Israeli forces pounding Palestinian targets with artillery fire.
Israel stepped up its ground offensive against Hamas militants after days of rocket fire and air strikes on both sides.
Tanks and bulldozers crossed the sand dunes, destroying tunnels the militants use to carry out attacks across the border.
The fighting has also taken a heavy toll on civilian lives.
Palestinian health officials say 23 Palestinians have been killed since Israel's offensive began late on Thursday.
Relatives wait at this hospital on the Gaza Strip, praying for their loved ones to survive or grieving over their deaths.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED GAZA RESIDENT, SAYING:
"We were done with work and were ready to sleep, and we heard the strike. We ran out from the office, and they hit us with two missiles."
Israel has also suffered the loss of a soldier during the invasion.
So far the offensive's been limited in scope, taking place in a largely unpopulated area.
Still homes have been destroyed and people displaced.
If the Israeli army moves into more populated areas, it could result in not only the deaths of more troops but also devastating consequences for Palestinian citizens in the way.
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