"Israeli troops launched a ground offensive in the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip on Thursday night after days of heavy bombardment."
United Nations, July 18 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Thursday expressed regret at Israeli ground offensive against the Gaza Strip, urging Israel to do far more to stop civilian casualties.

In the past 24 hours, there have been a number of incidents involving the deaths of civilians, including the appalling killing of four boys on a beach in Gaza City, Xinhua quoted Ban as telling reporters here at the UN headquarters.

I regret that despite my repeated urgings, and those of many regional and world leaders together, an already dangerous conflict has now escalated even further, he said.

The UN chief noted that there can be no military solution to this conflict and urged Israel to do far more to stop civilian casualties.

Israeli troops launched a ground offensive in the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip on Thursday night after days of heavy bombardment.

The invasion was started after fighting resumed along the Gaza border as a UN-brokered five-hour ceasefire to enable humanitarian aid into the region ended Thursday afternoon.


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