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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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  1. John Ray

Israel and Hamas 'moving towards a ceasefire'

I think we are now moving towards a ceasefire - just how quickly though, no-one can tell.

This is a very strange kind of conflict which will end when both sides think they can claim victory.

For Hamas, that is easy, they merely need to survive the bombardment that Israel is raining down on it.

For Israel it is a much trickier definition to make.

At the beginning of this they said it wouldn't be enough for Israel to force Hamas to pause for a short while - in other words to give the militants a chance to reload, re-arm and resume their attacks.

Now Israeli officials are telling me that 18 months of peace and quiet would be good. That, incidentally, is precisely what they got after the last time they attacked Gaza back in November 2012.

So it could be that at the end of all this we are back to where we began just a few weeks ago before all the bloodshed.

That, though, is part of the enduring tragedy of Israel and Palestine.

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