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Israel steps up ground offensive in Gaza Updated: 2014-07-19 18:14:30 KST

  Israel steps up ground offensive in Gaza
Now to the latest on the crisis in the Middle East
Israel is pushing ahead with its ground offensive on Gaza.
Palestinian officials say more than 70 Palestinians, at least 15 of whom were children, have been killed since Israel sent ground forces into the densely populated enclave on Thursday.
Hamas militants are still firing rockets into Israel, though many have been shot down by Israel's Iron Dome missile-defense shield.
The Jerusalem Post reports one Israeli was killed Saturday after sustaining critical injuries from a rocket attack.
U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said he underscored Washington's support for Israel to defend itself but raised concerns about "the risks of further escalation" and additional loss of innocent lives.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in the Middle East on this Saturday in a bid to end the hostilities.
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