'Armed Hamas drone' over Israeli town of Ashdod

Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV has aired a video purporting to show an armed Hamas drone in flight.

Israel military forces claim to have shot down a Hamas drone near the town of Ashdod earlier today.

If confirmed, the drone would mark the first use of an unmanned aircraft by Hamas.

Around six Israelis have been wounded since the start of the week-old offensive, which Gaza says has killed 172 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

More: Israeli military 'shot down drone from Gaza'

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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.