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Egypt’s PM Seeks Israel-Gaza Truce
November 16, 2012
Egypt’s prime minister has vowed to intensify his country’s efforts to achieve a truce as the deadly aerial volleys between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza continued Friday with one rocket landing in a field outside Jerusalem.
Air raid sirens wailed through Jerusalem but Israeli officials said there were no injuries or damage. A statement from Hamas claimed responsibility.
Hesham Kandil spoke in Gaza Friday after a brief cease-fire that Israel put in place during his visit to the area collapsed. The two sides have exchanged hundreds of aerial bombardments, leaving three Israelis and at least 20 Palestinians dead.
“The Egyptian revolution will make every effort and make sacrifices to stop this aggression and to achieve a truce and ensure that it continues, to achieve the equitable peace and to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said. “This is the only way that we will achieve stability in the region.”
Israel says it honored a pledge to suspend its military offensive while Egypt’s prime minister visited but said that Hamas militants fired at least 50 rockets into Israel during that time.
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that since Wednesday they had targeted 450 of what they called terrorist sites in Gaza while over 330 rockets from Gaza had landed in Israel.
The IDF said its Iron Dome missile interception system had destroyed more than 130 rockets headed toward Israel. It said it was taking early delivery of a fifth Iron Dome battery in order to bolster its defenses.
The Israeli military also deployed tanks along the border with Gaza and activated 30,000 mostly infantry reservists. Analysts say the moves could be in preparation for a ground incursion into Gaza if the conflict continued.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is ready for a deeper battle.
“We are prepared, if needed, to broaden the operation in a significant way,” he said.
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