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Monday, November 19, 2012

Israel ready to invade Gaza

Israeli attacks on the sixth day of fighting raised the number of Palestinian dead to 101, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said, listing 24 children among them. Hospital officials in Gaza said more than half of those killed were non-combatants. Three Israeli civilians died on Thursday in a rocket strike. Militants in the Gaza Strip fired 110 rockets at southern Israel on Monday, causing no casualties, police said. For the second straight day, Israeli missiles blasted a tower block in the city of Gaza housing international media. Two people were killed there, one of them an Islamic Jihad militant. Khaled Meshaal, exiled leader of Hamas, said a truce was possible but the Islamist group, in charge of the Gaza Strip since 2007, would not accept Israeli demands and wanted Israel to halt its strikes first and lift its blockade of the enclave. "Whoever started the war must end it," he told a news conference in Cairo, adding that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces an election in January, had asked for a truce, an assertion a senior Israeli official denied. Meshaal said Netanyahu feared the domestic consequences of a "land war" of the kind Israel launched four years ago: "He can do it, but he knows that it will not be a picnic and that it could be his political death and cost him the elections."
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