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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Hamas 'rejects' Egypt ceasefire proposal

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic group with an associated military wing, has reportedly rejected a ceasefire proposal as "surrender," according to AFP.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum told the AFP news agency that a political agreement must be reached before a ceasefire could take effect.

He was reported by the BBC as saying: "A ceasefire without reaching an agreement is rejected. In times of war, you don't cease fire and then negotiate."

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