'At least 23 people dead' following Israeli air strikes

Palestinian officials have claimed at least 23 people have been killed across Gaza following a bombardment Israel said may be just the start of a lengthy offensive "against Islamist militants".

Smoke rises after an air strike in northern Gaza Credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

Hamas said it also fired a rocket at the Israeli city of Haifa, 88 miles (140 km) away, and though this was not confirmed, Israel said a rocket had landed in Hadera, located 60 miles (100 km)from Gaza.

Israel has reported no casualties so far.

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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.