As the IAF continued striking in Gaza early Friday morning, Palestinian media reported 11 deaths since Thursday evening's ground operation - including that of an infant - bringing the total number of Palestinian deaths up to at least 246, according to Israel Radio. Quoting Gaza health officials, Reuters puts the total number of deaths at 238.

Out of the 11, three people were killed in separate incidents in Rafiah, while two others were killed by a mortar shell in Beit Hanoun, Ma'an reported.

Israeli bombs hit Wafa Hospital in Gaza while four patients were inside late Thursday night, Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told CNN. Seventeen other patients had been evacuated, he said.

The Gaza Health Ministry said seven children were killed in three hours earlier on Thursday, and four children were killed on a beach on Wednesday.


Human Rights Watch has claimed that 80 percent of those killed in Gaza were civilians. The IDF said that half of Palestinians killed were civilians.

Fighting resumed immediately after the end of a five-hour humanitarian truce on Thursday requested by the United Nations to allow Palestinians to stock up on food.

Hamas continued to fire rockets towards southern and central Israel.

Thursday night also marked the beginning of an Israeli ground offensive intended to destroy the extensive network of tunnels built by Hamas terrorists.

The dramatic decision followed, by less than 24-hours, an attempted massive attack by 13 terrorists who burrowed into Israel through a tunnel near Kibbutz Sufa, but were discovered and repelled.

The IDF also authorized the calling up of an additional 18,000 reserve soldiers as Operation Protective Edge entered its eleventh day.
 

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