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Israel launches ground operation in Gaza: army

Published on Jul 18, 2014 4:26 AM

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel launched a ground operation in Gaza late Thursday on the 10th day of an offensive to stamp out rocket attacks from the Palestinian enclave, the army said.

"Following 10 days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeated rejections of offers to de-escalate the situation, the Israel Defence Forces (army) has initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip," it said in a statement.

The army said the aim of the operation is to protect Israeli lives and crush Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

"The IDF's objective as defined by the Israeli government is to establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continues indiscriminate terror, while striking a significant blow to Hamas's terror infrastructure," the statement said. Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to stamp out rocket attacks from

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