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Israel begins Gaza ground assault
The Israeli army has confirmed its troops have entered the Gaza Strip as it escalates its offensive on the eighth day of operations.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, a spokesman for the Israeli government said: "They [Israeli ground forces] will be completing the mission of the air force, going for Hamas headquarters and weapons caches and giving a blow to their capability to launch attacks into Israel."
The gound assault came as the death toll of Palestinians climbed past 450 on Saturday as a strike on a northern Gaza town killed at least 11 people, including one child, who were praying in a mosque.
Earlier, Israeli artillery has started firing shells into the Gaza Strip for the first time.
Israeli soldiers, tanks and armoured personnel carriers had been massing along Gaza's edge for days.
A column of tanks were said to have entered the besieged Gaza Strip though the Beit Hanoun crossing shortly after nightfall on Saturday.