Israel Ground Offensive Continues In Gaza, At Least 50 Palestinians Killed, Thousands Displaced

Israel Gaza Offensive
Israel expanded its ground offensive in Gaza on Sunday.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: The U.N. Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss the violence between Israelis and Hamas. The meeting was requested by Jordan, Reuters reported.

UPDATE: 11:49 a.m.: Israel says 13 soldiers were killed in Sunday fighting, biggest death toll since the start of the latest ground offensive in Gaza.

Original story

Israel expanded its ground offensive in Gaza and heavy fighting led to thousands fleeing their homes in the Shuja'iya neighborhood. Palestinian officials said at least 60 Palestinians were killed and 35,000 displaced.

The Associated Press reports the fighting, including artillery and airstrikes, lasted for several hours Sunday. To date, more than 400 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in the conflict. Jawad Hassanain, a Shuja'iya resident told the AP, from 12:30 a.m. until 4 a.m., "all you could hear is heavy bombardment, the smell of fire and the smell of death."

 

 

Israel and Hamas agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire to allow the Red Cross and other rescue crews help those wounded in the battle and recover the dead, the AP said. The cease-fire abruptly ended with Israel and Hamas accusing each other of violating the agreement. Ashraf al-Kidra reported a Palestinian health ministry official said 60 Palestinians were killed in Sunday's fighting and 410 have died since the launch of Israel's Operation Protective Edge two weeks ago.

When asked by Wolf Blitzer on CNN's State of the Union about reoccupying Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "I support taking whatever action is necessary to stop this insane situation." Netanyahu also discussed the rocket fire from Gaza as well as the "terror tunnels" that have been found in Gaza. Speaking to ABC's "This Week," Netanyahu said: "Hamas is both targeting civilians and ... is ... hiding behind civilians. That’s a double war crime," Politico reported.

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