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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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Palestinian president talks to Hamas about cease fire

A woman grieves during the funeral of the four Palestinian children Credit: Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has met Hamas political official Moussa Abu Marzouk in Cairo to discuss an Egyptian initiative to halt hostilities between Israel and the militant group.

The talks are seen as the first concrete sign that efforts to reach a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants were still active despite the collapse a day earlier of a proposed mutual "de-escalation" of violence.

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