At 10:39 p.m. local time, the Israeli military announced it had begun a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. The New York Times reports that the objective of the operation was to "establish reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continuous indiscriminate terror."
The military added that, "it would target tunnels that infilitrate its territory, after cease-fire talks failed to de-escalete the air war that has raged for 10 days," according to the Times.
BREAKING NEWS: A large IDF force has just launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. A new phase of Operation Protective Edge has begun.— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 17, 2014
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As highlighted by the Times, "Palestinians residents and journalists in Gaza witnessed heavy artillery fire from ground troops and navy ships. Israel continued their air assault, which included targeting a rehabilitation hospital and, earlier, killing four young children playing on a roof."
Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum told Al Jazeera that Israel's ground operation in Gaza amounts to "stupidity," and threatened that the Israeli army would pay a "high price."