Palestinian Deaths Reach 111, Both Sides Ready For Diplomatic Solution

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A senior Palestinian militant is now among 111 Palestinians killed in the six days of Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Palestinian officials say half of those victims were civilians.

Meanwhile, Hamas fighters have launched more than 1,000 rockets into Israel, including 95 today. One of them hit an empty school in a coastal city. Police say Israel's rocket-defense system intercepted 29 of those rockets. Three Israelis have died from Palestinian rocket fire.

Israel has expanded its bombing campaign, attacking homes of activists in Hamas over the weekend and then launching a missile strike today on a media center in Gaza City. Islamic Jihad says one of its top militants was killed there.

Egypt is leading efforts to mediate a cease-fire. Both Israel and Hamas say they are open to a diplomatic solution, and that they are prepared for further escalation if those efforts fail.

An Israeli official says his side doesn't want a "quick fix" that will bring renewed fighting months from now. He says Israel wants "international guarantees" that Hamas won't use Egypt's Sinai peninsula for militant activity, and that it won't re-arm.

Hamas says Israel must meet its demands for a lifting of the blockade of Gaza.

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