JERUSALEM, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israeli soldiers and Gaza militants intensified overnight as the Israeli army announced Saturday that it is expanding its ground operation phase of Protective Edge.
"This evening, the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge expands, as additional forces join the effort to combat terror in the Gaza Strip," the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said in a statement.
The expansion of the operation includes the entry of more ground forces. In addition, Israel continues to fire heavy artillery at Gaza Strip targets along with Air Force raids, the statement said.
"The IDF is taking these steps following the directive given by the Israeli government, and in accordance with the IDF's contingency plans," it said.
Two Israeli soldiers died overnight during clashes with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, bringing the total number of killed Israeli soldiers to five.
According to Palestinian media, twenty Palestinians were killed overnight in the IDF's offensive.
Since Israel's ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, more than 85 Palestinian militants were killed.
GAZA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- For 13 days, stores, factories and businesses totally suspended, while Gaza's economy was badly hurt as Israel's ever escalating large-scale offensive on the coastal enclave continues with aerial bombardment and ground incursion that has led to the death of at least 342 Palestinians since its start earlier this month.
Economists and observers believed that the violent and intensive attacks will eventually kill the suffocating local economy that has been in fact suffering from years of rigid Israeli blockade since 2007.Full Story
JERUSALEM, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Two Israeli soldiers were killed in a fire exchange with Palestinian militants who infiltrated Israeli turf through a Gaza tunnel earlier on Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed in a statement.
The two were identified as 45-year-old reserve soldier Maj. Amotz Grinberg from Hod Hasharon in central Israel, and 20-year- old soldier Adar Berenaso from the northern city of Nahariya. Both were hit by machine gunfire and anti-tank missiles.Full Story