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Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza Strip

Two Israeli flares loose their light power as two others light up the sky over the northern part of the Gaza Strip. (Jim Hollander/EPA)

Two Israeli flares loose their light power as two others light up the sky over the northern part of the Gaza Strip. (Jim Hollander/EPA)

Israeli forces launched a new phase in the conflict with Gaza Thursday night when they began a major ground offensive. Follow this live blog for the latest updates.

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Israeli military tweets images of soldiers

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Swati Sharma
July 17, 5:51 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 5:51 pm

Hamas: Israel will pay 'high price'

A Hamas spokesman said that Israel has taken a dangerous step in launching a ground invasion and that it “did not study the consequences. The occupation forces will pay a high price and Hamas is ready for this confrontation.”

Read the full story here.

Swati Sharma
July 17, 6:02 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 6:02 pm

Some families trapped in Gaza

Power is off from Gaza city north to the border with Israel. Ambulance drivers can be heard on police scanners saying they cannot reach neighborhoods because of the shelling.  Families who remained behind in areas that the Israelis warned should be cleared are telling relatives in Gaza city that the bombardment has trapped them.

– William Booth

Swati Sharma
July 17, 6:09 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 6:09 pm

Photos: The scene in Gaza

Swati Sharma
July 17, 6:26 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 6:26 pm

Israel escalates airstrikes

Along with the ground operation, Israeli airstrikes are still hitting Gaza.

Swati Sharma
July 17, 6:40 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 6:40 pm

Photo: Protests in East Jerusalem

Demonstrations took place in support of Palestinians in Gaza.

Swati Sharma
July 17, 7:01 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 7:01 pm

Israelis cheer as rockets hit Gaza

Footage from CNN:

Swati Sharma
July 17, 7:09 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 7:09 pm

Powerful images of blasts hitting Gaza

An Israeli rocket is fired into the northern Gaza Strip.

(Amir Cohen/Reuters)

(Amir Cohen/Reuters)

 

Smoke from flares rises in the sky in Gaza City.

(Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

(Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

Swati Sharma
July 17, 7:34 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 7:34 pm

IDF: The goal is to target tunnels

Israeli Defense Forces have said that one of the missions of the ground attack is to dismantle an extensive network of tunnels believed to be used by Hamas militants.

On Thursday morning, the Israeli air force hit the opening of an incursion tunnel used by Hamas militants to sneak under the Gaza border fence for an attack inside Israel. The opening was about 250 yards inside Israel and a little more than a mile away from a kibbutz, apparently the intended target.

This video, released by Israel Defense Forces, shows what IDF says is the targeted bombing of the tunnel. Thirteen men armed with weapons are seen entering a hole in the ground, followed by smoke.

– William Booth

Swati Sharma
July 17, 8:29 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 8:29 pm

What journalists see and hear in Gaza

Drones buzzing

Gaza hospitality

No electricity

Explosions along north Gaza

Swati Sharma
July 17, 8:43 pm
  • Swati Sharma July 17, 8:43 pm
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