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Israel vowed to "demolish Hamas" as its troops massed on the border with Gaza, as an Egyptian-controlled crossing into the enclave is expected to reopen amid diplomatic efforts to get aid to the millions of Palestinians besieged there after Hamas' deadly rampage through Israeli border towns.

Top U.S. officials warned that the war between Israel and militant group Hamas could escalate, as American warships headed to the area amid growing clashes on Israel's northern border with Lebanon.

Thousands of Palestinians have evacuated Gaza City for southern areas of the enclave, after Israel warnings. Hamas has asked them to stay put.

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