GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israel will pay a "high price" for launching a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the Hamas movement said on Thursday night.
"The start of the Israeli ground attack on Gaza is a dangerous step, the consequences of which have not been calculated," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum in a statement.
"Israel will pay a high price and Hamas is ready for the confrontation."
The comments came after Israel announced it had launched a ground operation.
"Following 10 days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeated rejections of offers to de-escalate the situation, the Israel Defense Forces has initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip," the army said in a statement.
Israel launched "Operation Protective Edge" on July 8, and said it was intended to stamp out rocket attacks from Gaza, but confined it to air attacks until late Thursday.
So far at least 240 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed.