Israel continued on Friday to bombard Gaza Strip with air strikes and artillery shells, ignoring international calls for calm, as it stepped up the deployment of troops and tanks near the besieged Palestinian enclave, writes Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera’s Safwat Al Kahlout, reporting from Gaza, said that as of 00:10 GMT on Friday, Israeli troops are massing at the border, but contrary to several news reports, there is no ground offensive taking place.
“A ground operation needs a lot of preparation, needs a lot of troops”, - he said, noting that it is likely that there is not yet enough number of tanks, artillery and troops to enter Gaza.
In a separate statement, the Israeli army also denied that the ground offensive has started.
Kahlout also reported that the bodies of a woman and her three sons, who were killed in an Israeli air strike, have been retrieved in the northern part of Gaza.
As for Friday morning, the latest death toll has risen to 113, including at least 31 children. At least 600 people have been wounded.