Israel launches ground offensive against Gaza Strip
Israel has launched a ground invasion in the besieged Gaza Strip as the Palestinian death toll from Israeli airstrikes and shelling reaches 243.
On Thursday, Israeli forces launched a ground offensive against the blockaded enclave after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the army to push the aggression against Gaza into a new stage.
Netanyahu made the decision after a security cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv.
Israeli warplanes, warships and artillery have reportedly launched an intensive bombardment of different locations of the coastal enclave.
Israel has killed at least 243 people and injured 1,800 others since it began its latest onslaught against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on July 8. About a third of the Palestinian fatalities are women and children.
Since July 8, the Israeli military has attacked more than 1,800 targets across Gaza, which is home to around 1.8 million Palestinians living under blockade.
Hamas has been responding to the full-scale Israeli assaults by firing rockets into Israel.
Israel has blockaded Gaza since 2007, denying the Palestinian people there their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.