Activists and staff refuse to evacuate Gaza hospital

International volunteers and staff have refused to evacuate a hospital in the Gaza Strip in defiance of numerous warnings from Israel.

The building has been hit by a number of Israeli tanks shells, but still the staff and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) remain, refusing to cave in to phone calls from Israel warning that by staying behind they risk behind bombed.

Read: Israel's 'moral high ground' at risk after child deaths

"I would say we are using their racism against [Israel], to protect Palestinian life. So that's what we are doing at the hospital and that's what why we are in Gaza," said 23-year-old ISM member Fred Ekblad.

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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.