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Israel launches ground offensive in Gaza as air strikes continue

Israel has launched a ground offensive in Gaza with residents reporting heavy shelling in the area.

Palestinian health officials say 27 Palestinians, including a baby, two children and a 70-year-old woman, have been killed since Israel sent ground forces into the densely-populated strip of 1.8 million Palestinians.

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Israeli forces 'kill four Palestinian gunmen'

The Israeli military says its forces have shot dead four Palestinian gunmen who had slipped into southern Israel by sea from the Gaza Strip.

Militant group Hamas has claimed responsiblity for the raid at Zikim beach and said it had been in telephone contact with the group of gunmen.

Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner said the four were killed by a combination of fire from army, air force and navy personnel.

He also revealed one Israeli soldier had been wounded during the clash.

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