Thirteen Israeli soldiers have been killed in the ground offensive in Gaza as artillery strikes continue to target the sites of alleged rocket attacks.

The Israeli military said the soldiers, from Golani brigade, died during the offensive on Sunday, including seven who were killed after their armoured personnel carrier was hit by an anti-tank missile.

At least 87 Palestinian people are also thought to have been killed during the day’s fighting, the majority of them in Shaja’iya in northeast Gaza.

Eight were killed in an air strike on the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City, while a 15-year-old girl was killed in Beit Lahiya.

Thousands of Palestinians fled the fighting as the artillery bombardment began.

Sky’s Sherine Tadros, reporting from Shaja’iya, said people fleeing the area described it as a “massacre”.

She said: “We have seen hundreds upon hundreds of people leaving and they are not carrying bags packed with clothes, they are not carrying anything. They are literally running for their lives.

“They are leaving this area but of course there is nowhere safe here. You expect to see all these people flee across a border, but they can’t cross a border. Gaza is completely locked off.”

Gaza officials said 35,000 people had fled their homes on Sunday…. see more

source: skynews