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Israeli ground forces are to strike Palestinian militant sites throughout the Gaza strip, a military spokesman said.
According to Reuters, the spokesman added that the escalation did not aim to topple Hamas rule.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the country's military to begin a ground offensive in Gaza, according to Reuters.
"The prime minister and defence minister have instructed the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) to begin a ground operation tonight in order to hit the terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel," the statement said.
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.
"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.
The funerals of four Palestinians killed overnight ahead of a ceasefire were held today in the Gazan city of Khan Younis. Among the dead was a woman, 70, and two children aged 4 and 6, all from the same family, Palestinian health officials said.
In the southern city of Rafah, family members arrived to the morgue to identify the bodies of three people killed after an Israeli aircraft bombed a house, medical officials said.
Mark Regev, chief spokesman of the Israeli Prime Minister told ITV News the airstrikes that killed four children yesterday were a "terrible mistake" and an "operational failure".
Mr Regev said he did not think any Israeli officer would deliberately target children, and that there were legitimate targets nearby.
Speaking to ITV News Presenter Alastair Stewart he said it was still unclear whether a ceasefire could be agreed or held by Hamas, if the past ceasefire brokered by Egypt was anything to go by.
ITV News correspondent John Ray is in Tel Aviv, Israel:
An Israeli official has said there is a agreement for a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza starting tomorrow.
The Israeli security cabinet agreed to the truce after discussions in Egypt, the official said.
In Gaza, there has been no immediate word from Hamas or others if they have agreed.
Latest ITV News reports
It's been an emotionally exhausting day in Israel and Gaza as hopes for peace were raised then dashed then raised then dashed again.
In the court of international opinion, this is how Israel wins a battle and still manages to lose the war.