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Gaza: Israeli Offensive Expanded As Reports Of 60 Killed In Shejaiya Bombardment

20/07/2014 11:31 BST | Updated 20/07/2014 18:00 BST

Israel is stepping up its ground offensive in Gaza, as reports surface that at least 60 people have died in one bombardment overnight.

Overnight, at least 60 people were reported killed and scores injured in heavy shelling of the Shejaiya district in the north east of Gaza.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the attack as a "massacre".

gaza israeli offensive

Israeli artillery cannons fire shells at the Gaza border

Thirteen Israeli troops have also died in the violence including seven who were killed whne their troop carrier was hit by an anti-tank missile.

Israel said it had expanded its offensive, as militants kept up rocket fire into the country with no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough to end the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in two years.

Gaza residents said land and naval shellings were the heaviest in 13 days of fighting. Explosions rocked the coastal enclave overnight and shells fired by Israeli naval forces lit up the sky.

Among the Palestinians killed as a 15-year-old girl in the neighbourhood of Beit Lahiya.

At least 100 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its ground incursion last week and total death toll in Gaza is now understood to stand at 425 since the operation began 13 days ago.

This includes scores of children.

It was initially reported that 40 people had died in Shejaiya but this was later revised upwards.

The intensity of the bombardment meant the emergency services could not access the area and dead bodies lay in the streets as thousands fled, the Agence France Presse news agency reported.

A humanitarian truce was called in the area after the attack but violated after just one hour, with both sides blaming each other for the attack, the BBC reported.

SEE ALSO: Yesterday's Huge London Demonstration Against Israel's Actions In Gaza In Pictures

As well as those killed, more than 3,020 people have been injured, most of them civilians,' deputy health minister Yussef Abu Rish told reporters at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City