Hopes for Gaza Truce Dashed as Rockets Fly

Egyptian Premier Visits But Little Chance Seen of Ceasefire

Damaging Fire: Palestinian rescue workers douse a fire in a factory hit by Israeli airstrikes.
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Damaging Fire: Palestinian rescue workers douse a fire in a factory hit by Israeli airstrikes.

By Reuters

Published November 16, 2012.
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At a Gaza hospital he saw the bloodied body of a child. He left the Gaza Strip after meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the enclave’s prime minister.

Palestinian medics said two people were killed in the disputed explosion at the house, one of them a child. It raised the Palestinian death toll since Wednesday to 21. Three Israelis were killed by a rocket on Thursday.

Air raid sirens wailed over Tel Aviv on Thursday evening, sending residents rushing for shelter and two long-range rockets exploded just south of the metropolis. The location of the impacts was not disclosed.

They exploded harmlessly, police said. But they have shaken the 40 percent of Israelis who, until now, lived in safety beyond range of the southern rocket zone.

“Even Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu was rushed into a reinforced room,” said cabinet minister Gilad Eldan.

Israel has started drafting 16,000 reserve troops, in what could be a precursor to invasion.

The 21 Palestinian dead include eight militants and 13 civilians, among them seven children and a pregnant woman. A Hamas rocket killed three Israeli civilians a town north of Gaza, men and women in their 30s.

The last Gaza war, a lopsided three-week long Israeli air blitz and ground invasion over the New Year period of 2008-2009 aimed at ending repeated rocket attacks, left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead, mostly civilian, and killed 13 Israelis.

THE MESSAGE

“If Hamas says it understands the message and commits to a long ceasefire, via the Egyptians or anyone else, this is what we want. We want quiet in the south and a stronger deterrence,” Israeli vice prime minister Moshe Yaalon said.


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