UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Israel to scrap its plans for a ground assault as the Palestinian death toll rises in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian health officials say over 170 people have been killed and 12-hundred wounded in Israeli air strikes.
A Gaza-based human rights center claims that three-quarters of those victims were civilians.
Ignoring international appeals for a ceasefire, Israel on Sunday widened its range of bombing targets to civilian institutions with suspected Hamas ties.
Israel also deployed ground troops into Gaza for the first time since launching their offensive seven days ago.
No Israelis have reportedly been killed and despite intensified Israeli military action, Hamas continues to launch rockets deep into Israel.
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