LIVE UPDATES: Israeli troops enter Gaza Strip as Hamas rockets continue to light up the sky

The Israeli military said Thursday that it had deployed air and ground troops within the Gaza Strip to battle the Hamas terrorist group, which has been launching rocket barrages since Monday.

Israel had been retaliating with air strikes, but the ground attack marks another major escalation in what authorities were already describing as the largest clash between Israelis and Palestinian militants since 2014.

And at least three additional rockets were launched by unknown persons out of Lebanon, the country to the north, according to the Israeli Defense Forces.

Israel has taken credit for killing more than a dozen Hamas military figures and razed a pair of high-rise towers in airstrikes amid the country’s fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

FAST FACTS

    • The Israeli military said it sent “air and ground troops” into Gaza
    • Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Biden administration, as well as other world leaders, have called for deescalation
    • The IDF said at least three rockets were shot at Israel from Lebanon, where the Iran-backed Hezbollah militants operate as well as some Palestinian militants
    • Israel said it had killed more than a dozen senior Hamas leaders
    • Civilian mobs consisting of Muslims and Jews have also clashed and rioted in several cities

More than 100 Palestinians, including 27 children, have been killed in the recent fighting, Gaza’s Health Ministry said. 

A total of seven people have been killed in Israel, including a soldier and a 6-year-old boy.

As a result, the State Department is discouraging Americans form traveling to the region.

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