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8 killed in airstrikes across Gaza

Nov. 21, 2012 1:26 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 22, 2012 4:56 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel pounded the Gaza Strip on Wednesday killing eight Palestinians after a bomb exploded on a bus in Tel Aviv.

A four-year-old child was killed after sustaining wounds in an Israeli airstrike on al-Nuseirat refugee camp. Ilham Nabahin died and her mother was wounded in the attack.

Earlier, a two-year old child, Abdul Rahman Naem, was killed in an airstrike on Nima tower block in Gaza City, which houses the offices of Agence France-Presse.

A man and two children were also killed in an airstrike on Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. They were identified as Talal al-Asalai, his son Ayman and daughter Hadeel.

Mubarak al-Ghoula was killed in Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Mohammad al-Ashqar, 22, and 13-year-old Mahmoud Abu Khusa were killed in an airstrike near al-Khanzandar gas station in west Gaza City.

Shortly after a bomb exploded on a bus in Tel Aviv, Israel intensified shelling across the Gaza Strip. Two people were injured in multiple airstrikes on Yarmouk sports stadium.

Earlier, Ibrahim Abu Nasr, 80, and his daughter Ameera were killed in an airstrike on Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Abu Nasr's grandson was injured in the same strike.

Faris Sabtiye, 23, was killed in an airstrike on Shujaiyya in Gaza City. In Jabaliya, Abdullah Asaliyeh was killed and three people were injured in an airstrike near Al-Shaee Mosque.

Also Wednesday, Ahmad Abu Eliyan, from Bani Suheila in southern Gaza, died from injuries sustained in an attack Sunday.

In central Gaza, Israeli airstrikes destroyed the home of Issam al-Dailies, a personal adviser to Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

At least three homes were destroyed in airstrikes on al-Nuseirat refugee camp, and further south a bridge connecting northern and southern Gaza was bombed. No injuries were reported from those attacks.

Israeli warplanes destroyed a mosque in Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza and bombed a home belonging to Khaled Abu Ajwa in the same camp.

Huge fires erupted around Rafah in southern Gaza as Israel hit tunnels in the area 23 times. Civil defense forces were unable to reach the area due to the repeated attacks.

Overnight, Israel destroyed government offices in Gaza City, a security compound near Rafah and a police station in Khan Younis.

Ceasefire efforts

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pursued a truce, holding talks with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

"Secretary Clinton informed the president that the US administration is exerting every possible effort to reach an immediate ceasefire and the president expressed his full support for this endeavor," said PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat.

"Once the Israelis accept to stop their bombardments, their assassinations, there will be a comprehensive ceasefire sustained from all parties," Erekat said.

After talks with Abbas, Clinton held a second meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before heading to Egypt, the main broker in efforts to end eight days of fighting and avert a possible Israeli ground offensive.

Clinton, who flew to the region from an Asian summit, said in her public remarks after Tuesday's meeting with Netanyahu that it was "essential to de-escalate the situation".

"The rocket attacks from terrorist organizations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored," she said.

Netanyahu told Clinton he wanted a "long-term" solution. Failing that, Netanyahu made clear, that he stood ready to step up the military campaign to silence Hamas' rockets.

"A band-aid solution will only cause another round of violence," said Ofir Gendelman, a Netanyahu spokesman.

Israel has carried out more than 1,500 strikes since the offensive began, killing 158 Palestinians. Nearly 1,400 rockets have been fired into Israel, killing four civilians and a soldier, the Israeli military said.

A Palestinian official with knowledge of Cairo's mediation told Reuters that Egyptian intelligence officials would hold further discussions on Wednesday with leaders of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group.

"There may be a response from Israel that Egyptian mediators want to present to Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders," the official said. "Let's be hopeful it would be something Palestinian factions can accept."

Along the Gaza border, Israeli tanks, artillery and infantry remained poised for a possible ground offensive in the densely populated enclave of 1.7 million Palestinians.
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