The Israeli military said it would expand its ground operation in Gaza, as Israeli and Hamas fighters fired bullets and rockets at each other Sunday, local time, with no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough to end the worst fighting in two years.
Israeli tank shells Saturday killed at least one Palestinian. Nine Hamas militants infiltrated Israeli territory through an underground tunnel, killing two Israeli soldiers. The death toll in nearly two weeks of fighting has risen to 342 Palestinians, many of them civilians, Palestinian officials said. Israel has lost three soldiers and two civilians, Reuters reported.
An Israeli military spokesman said on Twitter the army is expanding its operation against Hamas.
We are currently expanding our ground operation against Hamas in Gaza.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 20, 2014
Israel sent soldiers into Hamas-dominated Gaza Thursday after air and naval efforts failed to stop Palestinians from firing rockets into Israeli towns near Gaza. Israel has vowed to destroy a network of tunnels and find the Hamas's missile stockpile.
Diplomatic efforts to reach a cease-fire have so far failed despite efforts by Egypt, Qatar, France and the United Nations.