Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Gaza City: Israel on Sunday said that it was intensifying its ground operation in Gaza, with an aim to destroy tunnels used by the Hamas militants to infiltrate into Israel.
As Israeli shelling targeted the town of Shaja`ia, hundreds of residents panicked and fled into Gaza City. According to Gazan health ministry, 13 had been killed and another 200 wounded in the fresh round of Israeli bombardment.
Israel on Sunday, Israel said it was expanding its ground incursion in Gaza by adding additional troops, adding that it will hit the Hamas hard.
Having launched an ground offensive in Gaza on Thursday after 10 days of airstrikes failed to stem Hamas rockets, the Israeli Defense Forces said that Irsael`s main aim was to strike a significant blow to Hamas` terror capabilities so that the citizens of Israel can live in safety and security.
We are currently expanding our ground operation against Hamas in Gaza.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 20, 2014
"In preparation for the mission, the forces have undergone an intensified training and thorough planning period and are prepared and stand ready for the task at hand," said IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner speaking to the CNN.
Fresh Israeli bombardments killed at least 14 people in Gaza on Sunday, reports said.
In 13 days of bombings and strikes, Israel has lost five soldiers and one civilian, while Palestinian officials put the Gazan death toll at more than 370.
With Israeli shells pounding the coastal city overnight, the residents said that it was the fiercest day in 13 days of violence.
Meanwhile, the United Nations said that more than expected number of refugees were approaching it for shelter with more than 50, 000 Palestinians already sheltered at its schools in Gaza, reported the BBC.
Over 2,400 Palestinians have been injured so far in the violence.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to stop Hamas firing rockets into Israel.