Israeli Ground Forces Continue Attack on Gaza

Civilian deaths continue to increase throughout the attack.
13:37 | 07/18/14

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Transcript for Israeli Ground Forces Continue Attack on Gaza
-- -- No nation should except rockets being fired into its borders. Thwart terrorists tunneling into its territory in fact while I was having a conversation with prime mister Netanyahu sirens went off in Tel Aviv. President robot. Reaffirming -- support Israel's right to defend itself. And sirens going off utility Hamas fired rockets and Israel. As Israel strikes from land sea and air. Israeli defense force sending in ground troops into Gaza -- in the region from the air and a Mediterranean Alter destroy hamas' network of tunnels. And Israel is promising a significant expansion. To the -- flight -- Hot spot Israel and Gaza will rely on. In New York Israel -- thousands of troops have participated in the incursion into Gaza and war. Moving across the border in fact the movement of Israeli military into Gaza seems to be never ending. Which McDonald's saw that first -- Israeli Gaza border. We're setting -- the -- of the Gaza. Big in these areas for the last week -- I was seeing lots of activity. But never quite as much as well -- -- This morning we noted there thousands of Israeli -- on the ground inside Gaza. -- -- -- thousand Israeli. Army reservists have now being holed up many of them deployed here along the case fit in northern edges over the Gaza Strip. Areas that were -- there is actually falling. They feel good volley fields and organic -- -- -- driving him out. -- -- -- The agency because. That report -- from the Gaza Strip but now back in Tel Aviv ABC's -- joining us now. And hey -- -- -- but this prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that there will be significant expansion to the incursion into Gaza. Is that a matter of -- and more troops what you saw on the border orders in fact it -- something else. Well it may be more it may also mean it that they go further in the reality is that -- In the woods is the Israeli military today. Thousands of Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza. -- -- very far into the Gaza Strip there on the periphery periphery. The operations on the ground and they've been conducting -- -- fox seem to be targeted mainly at these tunnels these underground tunnel networks that exist. That it enabled some Hamas militants to come on the ground and then pop up. Inside of Israel we -- images of that yesterday when some of them were effectively taken out as -- Tried to mountain mission. Into Israel. So the expansion of this operation -- from when it does happen. That may mean more soldiers -- -- plenty more on stand by a total of 64000. Reservists are being called up by the Israelis. And so they're rotten numbers there but ultimately what this may mean is that -- Go through the for the -- -- now essentially in the border area. All of the Gaza Strip. And we shall we ask you about these tunnels because as you've pointed out there Israel has made at the target of their efforts right now. How exactly does Hamas use these tunnels -- miles long is that what the strength for the network. Both -- -- it's guess what times as Simon exactly how big the network of tunnels is because. The Israelis say they simply can't detect them from -- They've used all sorts of technology to try and establish exactly -- the tunnels. Begin and end and -- haven't been able to do that. That's why. The bombardment that they -- being carrying out for the last nine or ten days has not been effective in smashing those tunnels. And they say anything going on the ground but -- significant challenges that come -- going in on the ground already to Iraq. Very heavy civilian casualties. Inside the Gaza Strip. Around 270. Civilians are being. -- it did the death toll is standing -- 270. Many of those civilians. And clearly the concern -- -- nationally and even acknowledged. By these many Israeli military itself. That if you send troops in on the ground that creates a greater challenge in terms of trying to keep -- civilian casualties down. On the diplomatic effort the president -- just a short time ago that secretary of state John Kerry is working with Israel and Egypt. To get some kind of a deal. In place something similar to that November 2012 cease fire what is the likelihood of that action coming to fruition. But ultimately this will have to end -- this cease fire it has happened before. Most seem to believe that it will ultimately happen -- There was an attempt made -- last week. To do that this week rather to do that it failed the problem is that Egypt has being used in the positive. Broker the -- ties between Israel and Hamas the political dynamic has shifted enormously. In Egypt as a new president he's no fan of Hamas. Because it is linkages particularly with the Muslim Brotherhood he ousted. The Muslim Brotherhood -- -- North -- he's now the president. And he has. Designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Their -- what we've seen at least have seen this week. Is that the Egyptian leadership doesn't have the same leverage. -- -- how mass that it may have done in the past that's a significant challenge. Because ultimately -- national community has relied on Egypt to do that in the possibly -- the test. For them as well and I think the United States states -- keen to see. That that challenge -- met. A lot of pressure building their hate machine if you can't stand by for just -- -- because. A -- -- -- cross the divide now to Gaza where one Israeli soldier was killed overnight. Along with at least seventeen Hamas militants. It is the -- so in Gaza -- highest price with their lives the latest fighting has pushed housing and a -- -- 270. The BBC's Paul Adams was there with the latest from the Gaza Strip sent this report. It began with the heaviest marrow so far the -- and the shells and rockets fell throughout the the Israeli military moving to a new things. It's proven that the -- It's okay. With a stirring message from that -- that the army moved him in tanks and on foot. Israelis say they want to destroy tunnels used by gunmen to sneak into Israel. Assuming it was -- so my instruction to IDF in accordance with the security cabinet is preparing for the possibility of a significant expansion of the ground operation remove the cougars. Okay. But a new phase brings new wave of civilian casualties. But Gaza's Shifa Hospital -- desperate scenes this morning you know -- Two nieces were killed he wails my Brothers daughters. Five year old robbery is alive but I -- his fractured possibly her skull to. They guitar house doesn't bother -- at seventy -- two people inside looking for sanctuary that -- -- -- Other people are on the move to. Gravely ill patients were rushed to this Gaza City clinic late last night at that hospital under fire. Too -- to say. Today -- to leave them aka take care of them toolbox mold and that and inhaled send all. Such a small crystal day just to me to them. So I have -- Why is the hospital. While we talk a salvo of Hamas rockets is fired from a building nearby. -- I wonder can this be helping. Give me a human being that I hit you I -- I put you in the corner I ask who. Don't respond just sitting there I -- it is -- -- full. We travel through deserted streets to see the -- hospital -- sells the borders just across the nearby fields. Israel says rockets were five from the hospital itself. -- -- the Palestinians deny. The -- for the patients say this hospital was hit many many times the first time a week ago and by last night it was simply becoming. Unbearable. It seems pretty clear that the Israelis don't want anyone staying here in this part of the Gaza Strip. Yesterday's talk of -- cease -- is already distant memory if anything things are getting worse. Paul Adams BBC news accounts. About report -- from the Gaza Strip and I want it back to Tel Aviv where -- englishman Donald standing by image when we hear that when we see that the death told climbing. Does it not give Hamas an advantage in fact to use leverage to recruit more people in other words. If in fact will this hurt the Israeli forces in the long run. Well there is -- -- is -- that potential certainly. When. When it there on many civilian deaths -- 810 -- the hands of Hamas. I blame this on Israel they blame the longer term problem. On Israel and that's made -- In -- -- -- for a cease fire they've issued what their conditions. And that involves lifting the severe restrictions on the Buddha. People die and -- -- the free flow of movement into and out of the Gaza Strip. Is not a free -- remitted movement. All the goods in Syria and out of the Gaza Strip. So they -- that Israel must meet those conditions in order for them to agree. To a cease fire that clearly when you do have a mounting death tell like that when Iraq -- many civilians amongst those killed and injured. There's a question of proportionality is the response from is -- Proportionate would disproportionate. I think -- national communities very focused on that right now. Particularly given that there have been these deaths -- children in recent days more denies his well. And in addition to that the -- that strikes are being carried out on hospitals. Harding's caring for the sick and elderly. As well there are serious questions there will be investigated. And as someone willing to be ounces. -- ask you this -- 2005 Israel had pulled out military and civilians from Gaza. What is the probability then -- in fact wheels still happen after a cease fires created that it will still have some kind of a presence. In the Gaza Strip. Well the Israeli military is very clear about that I spoke to. Senior figure in the military today -- and he was. Absolutely certain that -- was not to return to seize control of the Gaza Strip it was not to read. How mass of its authority under the Gaza Strip in fact he said that Hamas will still be in control of Gaza. At the end of this whenever it -- that the sole purpose of the operation. Is to prevent the rockets from being fired out to limit the ability of Hamas to conduct its operations that affect. The Israeli population. Think significantly. One point that was made to us today was that of the stockpile of rockets that Hamas possessed that the beginning a -- of all of this. That's now being depleted to around 50%. Of the levels that they began when it. -- -- -- Does -- is now very heavy bombardment. Over -- week. There -- only 50% of the -- in terms of the destruction. Of the arsenal. That Israel wants to. Effectively get -- -- -- completely. He -- lesson before we let you go -- wanted to ask you about this obviously I know there is probably no timetable there is no. Absolute set date. On either side being put on the books on this is there a goal though is there a benchmark that Israel is saying if in fact this has met. That is when our forces will stop. Well they're -- insisted that the Israeli ounces and that there is at least he's not time driven this -- goal driven. So this will go on for as long as it takes for them to meet their objectives. We know -- -- the ground operation is focused on the destruction of these tunnels. But the -- -- objective according to the Israeli government. Is to return calm and quiet to Israel that means normal rockets flying out the most sirens no -- -- -- into cents. On a daily basis. But clearly. Given that 50% figure that I just mentioned -- -- -- -- reaching not. And we ten days into this operation so I think there's some ways to go to and Lance. The cease fire can be agreed. Imminently. Three remediation of Israel -- Egypt throttle perhaps another partner it could be -- -- state accounts possibly even Turkey. ABC's international affairs correspondent which McDonald in Tel Aviv Amos thank you as always. You can keep up with this story in real time by downloading ABC news App Store in the store -- exclusive updates on the go. You've been watching international hot spot Dan -- And.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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