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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Dawn airstrikes kill eight members of same family

Five children were killed in the dawn raids, Palestinian officials said. Credit: Reuters

Israeli airstrikes killed eight members of the same family, including five children, early this morning in Gaza, Palestinian officials said, in the third day of the offensive against Hamas -led fighters, who continued to launch rockets at Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.

The home was targeted, officials said, whilst the family were inside this morning. Credit: Reuters

At least 66 Palestinians have been killed in the airstrikes, more than 50 of them civilians, Gaza medical officials said.

The death toll in Gaza has reached 66 in three days, and will rise. Credit: Reuters

Israel says more than 320 rockets have been fired by Hamas, but there have been no serious injuries due in part to interceptions by Israel's aerial defence system.

Later today UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will brief the Security Council on the crisis.

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