Gaza official: Palestinian death toll tops 300

2014-07-19 09:25

Gaza City – A Gaza health official says the death toll from Israel’s 12-day offensive against Hamas militants has topped 300.

Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Kidra said today that overnight airstrikes killed nine people. The Israeli military says three soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in the second night of Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza.

Israel launched a ground operation late on Thursday after becoming increasingly exasperated with unrelenting rocket fire from Gaza, especially following Hamas’ rejection of an Egyptian ceasefire plan earlier this week.

Israeli officials say the offensive is aimed at destroying Hamas tunnels into Israel and that it could last up to two weeks.

Israel’s military chief Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz visited troops on the Gaza border early today and said “a strategic national patience is necessary” to complete the operation.

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