Three soldiers were injured in firefights with Palestinians on the second night, Friday, of the IDF’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip. They were evacuated to hospital. One, an officer, was severely injured in a close engagement with armed Palestinians in Beit Lahiya in the north. He received urgent first aid before being taken to hospital. In the first 30 hours of the expanded Israeli campaign, IDF forces destroyed nine secret tunnels – often with multiple branches – that were built by Hamas for terrorist attacks across the Israeli border, as well as rocket launching-sites and stores. Additional forces have been called up for the further expansion of the ground campaign. Tens of thousands more Palestinians were told to leave their homes.

Rockets from the Gaza Strip kept on coming at Israel overnight and continued Saturday morning.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry are due in the region during the day as various would-be ceasefire brokers try their hands.