Israel has launched a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip with its forces advancing hundreds of meters into the east of the southern city of Khan Younis, Press TV reported on Wednesday.Also, Israeli forces allegedly attacked a group of Gazans with live fire while they were collecting gravel nearby. One of them suffered injuries and was taken to a local hospital to receive medical treatment.

The attack followed flights by Israeli fighter jets over Gaza last night.

For over 3 years, Israel has kept closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip. Since June 2007, the illegal blockade on Gaza has been steadily tightened having a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the coastal strip.

The 1.5 million population is being deprived of basic rights including adequate living conditions, work, health and education, and freedom of movement. Poverty and unemployment rates approximately account for 80% and 60% respectively in the Gaza Strip.