Gaza crisis: Israeli army poised to launch ground invasion after hundreds of rockets fired

An armoured brigade is poised to launch a ground invasion into Gaza if needed, the Israeli army has said, after militants in the besieged strip fired over 450 rockets into its territory over the last 24 hours.

A man in this late 50s killed in the Southern city of Ashkelon by rocket fire amid an overnight flare up of cross-border fighting.  He was named locally as Moshe Agadi and is the first Israeli civilian to be killed by a Palestinian rocket since the 2014 war, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Gaza’s health ministry, meanwhile, said seven Palestinians have been killed and 47 injured Israeli strikes, including a pregnant woman and a one year-old baby.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israeli army, said the 7th brigade had been deployed to the border with Gaza “on standby for offensive mission”.

“An armoured brigade is ready for various contingencies but earmarked for an offensive mission being by definition a mission that goes inside enemy terrain,” he told reporters.

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