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Gaza premier says in talks to end airstrikes

Dec. 9, 2011 2:43 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 10, 2011 3:01 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that his government was holding intensive talks with regional and international parties to stop Israel's escalation in attacks on the enclave.

Four Palestinians have been killed since Wednesday and at least 20 injured in a series of airstrikes on Gaza City. The Israeli army expressed regret that civilians were hurt in the attacks, which injured at least seven children.

Speaking after Friday prayers in Gaza City, Haniyeh said Israel's latest flare up in aggression was preceded by threats of a new military action by Israeli leaders.

The Gaza premier added that the raids demonstrated Israel's intentions toward the Palestinian people in Gaza. Such violence will fail because of the resolve of Gaza's residents and the resistance's ability to protect the enclave, Haniyeh said.

The chief of Israel's military, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, told parliament in November that a new offensive in Gaza could be "drawing close" because of rockets fired into southern Israel.

Militants in Gaza have responded to Israel's latest round of deadly strikes by firing rockets across the border, causing no injuries.

Cairo is trying to renew a truce to restore calm between its neighbors, Egypt's ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman told Ma'an on Thursday.
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