Gaza death toll tops 300 as Israel steps up offensive
The death toll from Israel's 12-day offensive against Hamas militants has topped 300, a Gaza's health ministry has said.
Spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said overnight air strikes killed nine people. The Israeli military says three soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in the second night of Israel's ground offensive in Gaza.
Israel launched a ground operation on Thursday after becoming increasingly exasperated with unrelenting rocket fire from Gaza, especially following Hamas' rejection of an Egyptian ceasefire plan earlier this week.
Israel says the offensive is aimed at destroying Hamas tunnels and could last for up to two weeks.
Military chief Lt Gen Benny Gantz visited troops on the Gaza border today and said "a strategic national patience is necessary" to complete the operation.