Two bullets hit Ibrahim Al-Atla, 25, a cameraman for the Palestine Broadcasting Corp., and were stopped by his bulletproof vest, said his colleague Samir Khalifa. A tank shell then exploded nearby, with shrapnel entering Al-Atla's back, said medics at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
The shooting occurred at 8 a.m. just east of Gaza City, Khalifa said.
Heavy fighting was under way at the time between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli aircraft, tanks and bulldozers. Nine Palestinians were killed, most of them gunmen.
The offensive began in Gaza on June 28, three days after Hamas militants launched their first deadly raid into Israel since the country's pullout from the territory in 2005, killing two soldiers at an Israeli army post and kidnapping a third, 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
Two other journalists have been lightly wounded while covering the Gaza offensive, but Al-Atla was the first reporter to be seriously hurt.