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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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Hague: Terrible human cost to both sides of conflict

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the current conflict in the Middle East "underlines the terrible human cost to both sides".

A Palestinian woman in front of the remains of her house, which was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Credit: Reuters

He told the House of Commons:

"The people of Israel have the right to live without constant fear for their security and the people of Gaza also have the fundamental right to live in peace and security.

"There are hundreds of thousands of extremely vulnerable civilians in Gaza who bear no responsibility for the rocket fire and are suffering acutely from this crisis."

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