Israel Admits First Gaza Fatality, Many Wounded

Palestinian resistance groups are claiming to have killed several Israeli soldiers, taken two prisoners and destroying many armored vehicles, but Israel is only admitting one fatality and many causalities.

"I can confirm that an IDF soldier was killed this morning by a mortar shell in the area of Beit Lahiya," an Israeli army spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The death, first reported by Al-Jazeera, is the first fatality confirmed by Israel since it launched a ground operation on Saturday.

The Israeli army said another soldier was critically wounded Sunday morning in clashes with Palestinian resistance fighters.

Israel admitted earlier that 30 soldiers have been injured in Gaza fighting, two of whom are in serious condition.

"We believe several Israeli soldiers were killed and dozens were wounded since the ground aggression began last night," Abu Ubaida, spokesman for Ezzeddin Al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, told Reuters.

A Hamas statement earlier said two Israeli soldiers were taken prisoners.

"I can neither confirm nor deny that at this stage?" Abu Ubaida said.

He confirmed that Hamas fighters have targeted Israeli tanks and armored vehicles.

Two Israeli armored vehicles were hit by explosive charges in Al-Tofa district in the Gaza City.

Islamic Jihad said that seven tanks were destroyed in northern Gaza.

Israeli tanks and infantry battled Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip on Sunday in a ground offensive launched after eight days of deadly air strikes.

At least 47 Palestinians, including 12 children, were killed by Israeli firepower on Sunday, taking to more than 500 people killed Since last Saturday.

Raining Rockets

Amid massive air, naval and land shelling as well as ground incursion, Palestinian home-make rockets continue to rain Israeli cities.

The Israeli army confirmed that 45 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on Sunday.

Rockets hit Israel’s biggest military bases south of Gaza.

Two rockets struck the Eshkol region, leaving two people lightly wounded, while five hit Sderot, leaving one woman lightly injured.

Another rocket hit a house in the western Negev town, leaving four suffering from shock.

Two Grad rockets also hit Netivot.

A rocket fired on Saturday scored a direct hit on a house in Netivot, causing the structure to completely collapse.

Israel has ordered residents of cities located up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Gaza into shelters.

Four Israelis have been killed in rocket attacks since last week.

Israel says it ordered the Gaza onslaught to cripple Palestinian groups from firing rockets into its cities.

( and News Agencies)

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