1. National

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.

View all 251 updates ›

Blair: Ceasefire needs to give people of Gaza respite

Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair said the ceasefire would not work unless it provided a long term solution for the people of Gaza, and guaranteed Israel's safety.

Speaking to Diplomatic Correspondent John Ray, he said:

"This ceasefire won't work unless it allows us to develop a long-term plan for Gaza, that opens Gaza up, that gives its people respite from what has been an appalling situation for them over many years, and which gives Israel genuine, permanent security."

More on this story