An Israeli Merkava tank rolls near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 17, 2014
An Israeli Merkava tank rolls near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 17, 2014 © Jack Guez - AFP
An Israeli Merkava tank rolls near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 17, 2014
AFP
Last updated: July 18, 2014

Israel will pay "high price" for Gaza ground operation, says Hamas

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Israel will pay a "high price" for launching a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Hamas movement said on Thursday night.

"The start of the Israeli ground attack on Gaza is a dangerous step, the consequences of which have not been calculated," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum in a statement.

"Israel will pay a high price and Hamas is ready for the confrontation."

The comments came after Israel announced it had launched a ground operation.

"Following 10 days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeated rejections of offers to de-escalate the situation, the Israel Defence Forces (army) has initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip," the army said in a statement.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to stamp out rocket attacks from Gaza, but confined it to air attacks until late Thursday.

So far at least 240 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed.

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