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Live: UN chief heads to Gaza as death toll mounts

Photo: Mahmud Hams, AFP

UN chief Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Middle East on Saturday to meet with Israeli and Palestinian envoys, UN officials said Friday. The UN earlier condemned the rockets being fired from Gaza but said it was "alarmed by Israel's heavy response".

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  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the region on Saturday to meet with Israeli and Palestinian representatives, a senior official told an emergency meeting of the Security Council. A UN statement earlier condemned the rockets being fired from Gaza but said it was "alarmed by Israel's heavy response".
  • Gaza health officials said at least 50 Palestinians have been killed since the ground operation began late on Thursday. The Israeli military said 20 militants had been killed so far and two Israeli soldiers were killed in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • The number of Palestinians seeking shelter in Gaza nearly doubled on Friday, with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) saying 50,000 Palestinians had now sought refuge in its shelters.
  • Israeli troops pushed deeper into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Friday to destroy rocket-launching sites and tunnels, firing tank shells and clashing with Palestinian fighters in an offensive that Israel says is targeting the “infrastructure” used by Hamas. “Since it is not possible to deal with the tunnels only from the air, our soldiers are doing it also from the ground,” Netanyahu said.
  • “The ground offensive does not scare us and we pledge to drown the occupation army in Gaza mud,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement. (FRANCE 24 with AP)

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Live Blog Israel launches ground offensive in Gaza
 

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