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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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David Cameron: Israel 'has a right to defend itself'

David Cameron said Israel "has a right to defend itself" with Hamas launching rockets into the country as the Middle East crisis continues to escalate.

Prime Minister David Cameron. Credit: Luke MacGregor/PA Wire

The death toll in Gaza continues to rise with at least 172 Palestinians dead in the week-long conflict.

The Prime Minister said: "It is a concerning situation but we should be very clear about two things; one is that Hamas has been firing rockets continually into Israel and secondly, Israel has a right to defend itself as a sovereign country that's been under attack.

"But, obviously everyone wants to see this situation come to an end, de-escalate and make sure people can live in peace and security."

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