Israeli troops have killed nine Palestinians in clashes in Gaza and the West Bank.

The dead included four gunmen and two civilians as tanks pushed into a central Gaza refugee camp.

The Gaza raid was part of a three-week-old offensive to recover a captured soldier and halt rocket fire.

Heavy shooting broke out around the Maghazi Camp as Israeli troops crossed the border into the territory before dawn.

Three Hamas militants were killed, along with one Fatah gunman. The two civilians killed included a 16-year-old.

52 Palestinians were injured in the Gaza clashes, including four hurt by a missile fired from an Israeli drone aircraft. At least 10 of those hurt were children.

Ground troops have been operating inside Gaza since 28 June, when troops rolled back into the territory in a bid to retrieve Corporal Gilad Shalit, whose capture sparked the worst Israeli-Palestinian crisis in months.

At least 93 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have been killed since Israel's assault in Gaza intensified on 5 July, with forces currently on the ground both in the centre and southern part of the densely-populated territory.

Appeals for restraint

International appeals for restraint have fallen on deaf ears and a UN resolution urging Israel to stop the offensive was vetoed by the US.

The humanitarian situation of the 1.4 million people living in Gaza has badly deteriorated since direct aid to the Hamas-led government was suspended.

Meanwhile, three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli soldiers in a raid on a Palestinian security compound in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Israeli bulldozers tore down two buildings used by the Palestinian government in the city.

The bulldozers demolished buildings used by a security service that falls under Hamas's jurisdiction, as well as the Interior Ministry building.