Israel intensifies ground assault
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After a brief pause, Israel resumed its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip on Thursday targeting tunnel sytems along the Egyptian border. Air strikes are making it difficult for foreigners to leave the country.
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AFP - About 250 foreigners on Thursday left Gaza under a Red Cross escort after several attempts to get them out of the conflict-stricken territory were cancelled because of shelling, officials said.
The foreigners were taken on six buses from Gaza City to the Erez crossing point with Israel, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokeswoman said.
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that the group had crossed the border. But no access was given to the foreigners who were to be taken straight to a special terminal building and from there were to go to Jordan accompanied by diplomats from their countries.
Diplomats in Jerusalem said there could be about 400 foreigners and Palestinians with dual nationality left in Gaza where an intensive Israeli military offensive since December 27 has left more than 700 dead.
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