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Israel continues to bomb Gaza, 22 killed

Nov. 21, 2012 5:43 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 22, 2012 12:06 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes continued for an eighth day on Wednesday with 22 people reported killed, as efforts to reach a ceasefire continued.

Shortly after a bomb exploded on a bus in Tel Aviv at midday, Israel intensified shelling across the Gaza Strip, after having hit over 100 sites across Gaza overnight, the army said.

Abdullah Hussein, 18, and Muhammad Kamil Abu Udwan, 18, were killed in Rafah when an airstrike targeted their motorcycle, Ma'an's reporter said.

Medics recovered five bodies from the rubble of Israeli airstrikes on al-Mughraqa, Gaza City, and one body from an airstrike on Jabiliya, Ma'an's reporter said.

The victims were identified as Ibrahim Muheisin in Jabalia, and Muhammad Abu Uteiwi, Ahmad Abu Kamil, Saadi Abu Kamil, Nidal Hassan and Muhammad Abu Ubeid in al-Mughraqa, south of Gaza City.

Earlier, a four-year-old child was killed in an attack on al-Nuseirat refugee camp and Abdul Rahman Naem, 2, 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 killed in Beit Hanoun, one man was killed in al-Nuseirat and three others, including a 13-year-old child, died in Gaza City as Israel pounded the coastal enclave.

Two people were killed in an airstrike on a gas station in north Gaza and another man died in Jabaliya.

An elderly man and his daughter were also killed in Khan Younis and two people killed in northern Gaza.

Also Wednesday, two men died from wounds sustained in attacks several days ago.

Muhammad Muhammad Bakr, 27, died from wounds sustained in an attack on Gaza City on Monday, while Ahmad Abu Eliyan, from Bani Suheila in southern Gaza, died from injuries sustained in a Sunday attack.

Ceasefire?

Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts to implement an Egyptian-brokered truce deal continued, with UN chief Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holding talks with leaders.

Clinton arrived in Ramallah early on Wednesday for talks with President Abbas. She then 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.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo for talks with Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi to discuss a ceasefire that had reportedly been held up because the Israeli government had yet to respond to proposals.

"The Israeli side has not responded yet, so we will not hold a (news) conference this evening and must wait until tomorrow," Ezzat al-Rishq, a senior Hamas leader, told Reuters on Tuesday.

"The truce is now held up because we are waiting for the Israeli side to respond," he added in a short telephone interview.

Israel's army spokesman Yoav Mordechai had earlier said that Israel would continue shelling Gaza alongside political dialogue, Israeli media reported.
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