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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Israeli video shows tunnels 'used by Hamas fighters'

The Israeli military have released a video showing what they say is the tunnel used by about a dozen Hamas fighters last night as they attempted to attack Sufa in southern Isreal.

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Palestinians rush to banks and shops during 'ceasefire'

Palestinians shop for food during the humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Credit: Reuters

People in Gaza have been crowding outside banks and around markets to stock up on money and food during the five hour humanitarian ceasefire called by Israel and Hamas.

Palestinians wait to withdraw cash from a bank in Gaza. Credit: Reuters

Three mortar attacks appear to have broken the truce in southern Israel.

Read: Mortar attacks 'break ceasefire' in Israel

Palestinian fighters tunnel under border into Israel

About dozen Palestinian fighters tunnelled under the Gaza border last night, emerging near an Israeli community, the Israeli military said.

Video released by the IDF appears to show the fighters emerging from underground before being shot at.

At least one of the fighters was killed when Israeli aircraft bombed the group.

A five hour humanitarian ceasefire is currently in operation, at the request of the United Nations.

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What is a humanitarian ceasefire?

The Israeli military and Hamas have both agreed to respect a five-hour ceasefire in Gaza after nine days of fighting, after a request from the United Nations.

A Palestinian woman cries inside her damaged house in Gaza, targeted overnight in an Israeli airstrike. Credit: Reuters
  • At 8am (0700 GMT) Israel's military said it would stop airstrikes for five hours to allow people in Gaza to attend to humanitarian needs.
  • The UN said they are "extremely concerned" about the impact of the hostilities on civilians and said public services had been suspended and its water supply was at risk.
  • The "humanitarian pause" in the deadly violence was called for by United Nations Special Coordindator Robert Serry on an Israeli television station last night so that aid can be delivered to Gaza.
  • Hamas said it accepted the UN plea and would not fire rockets into Israel during the time.
  • The United Nations has said over 75% of the 220 Palestinians killed have been civilians. One Israeli has died since the fighting broke out 9 days ago.

Hollande: 'Pressure those that could influence Hamas'

French President Francois Hollande wants pressure applied to Hamas. Credit: APTN

European leaders have condemned the ongoing rocket attacks and air strikes between Israel and Gaza as violence continues in the region.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on both sides to adopt a cease-fire.

Mr Hollande said a ceasefire must be observed "especially in Gaza and to strengthen pressure on countries that could influence Hamas in order to reach a truce and to spare the civilians."

Angela Merkel stated that Israel has the right to defend itself but said a "limited cease-fire has to be used and benefited from."

Obama: Israel and Palestine 'don't want to live like this'

US President Barack Obama has encourage a diplomatic outcome in the region. Credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing

US President Barack Obama has reiterated his support for Egypt's attempt to reach a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, to stop more deadly clashes.

"The Israeli people and the Palestinian people don't want to live like this," he said.

He said he would continue to encourage a diplomatic outcome.

More: Israeli military agrees to temporary halt to Gaza attacks

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