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MIDEAST > Hamas lists demands for truce with Israel

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories

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The exiled leader of the Palestinian group Hamas said today that Palestinian weapons had caught Israel "off guard" and said Israel had failed to achieve its objectives in Gaza, Reuters reported.

"The weapons of the resistance have caught the enemy off guard," Meshaal told a new conference in Cairo, speaking as Egypt says it could be close to securing a truce between the two sides.

Meshaal said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had requested a truce. "Whoever started the war must end it," Meshaal said.

Meshaal called on Egypt to support Palestinians as much as possible but does not want to transfer 'burden' to Egypt.

Hamas lists demands for truce with Israel


Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said today that Israel must halt what he described as its attack on the Gaza Strip and lift the blockade of the Palestinian territory in exchange for a truce that he said the Israeli government was seeking, Reuters has reported.

"We are not against calm (a truce) ... but there must specific demands ... in summary that the Israeli thuggery and aggression stop ... and the siege on Gaza be lifted," he said in a news conference in Cairo.

"Egypt was asked by the Americans, European parties and from Israel directly to work to realise calm. They (Israel) attacked and they requested the calm because their calculations failed," he said. Israel denies its prime minister has requested a truce.

Israel denies requesting truce

However Israel immediately denied Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal's assertion that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanuyahu has requested a truce in the Gaza conflict.

"Hamas's comments about a ceasefire, alleging that Israel is begging for one, are about as accurate as its claims to have shot down an F-15 (warplane) or attacked the Knesset," a senior government official said.

Israeli strikes kill 13, raising toll to 90: medics

Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip killed 13 people early today, raising the Palestinian death toll to 90 as Israel's relentless air campaign entered its sixth day.
 
In the latest incident, a missile hit a motorcycle east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, killing two men and critically wounding a child who was with them, a statement by Gaza's ambulance service said.
 
The two were named as Abdullah Abu Khater, 30, and Mahmud Abu Khater, 32, but the relationship between them was not immediately clear.
 
An earlier strike on Qarara in the same area killed two farmers -- Ibrahim al-Astal and Obama al-Astal, medics said.
 
In a strike on southern Gaza City, a car was hit, killing one man and injuring another three, officials said, naming him as 23-year-old Mohammed Shamalah.
 
Shortly before that, three people were killed in a strike on a car in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, all of them from the same family: Amir Bashir, Tamal Bashir and Salah Bashir.
 
Very early in the day, two women and a child were among four killed in a strike on Gaza City's eastern Zeitun neighbourhood -- Nisma Abu Zorr, 23, Mohammed Abu Zorr, 5, Saha Abu Zorr, 20 and Ahid al-Qatati 35, And medics said another man had been found dead in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, naming him as Abdel Rahman al-Atar, a 50-year-old farmer.

Israel ready for Gaza invasion but prefers a diplomatic solution: official

Israel is ready for a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip but prefers a diplomatic solution, a senior official close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

 "We would prefer to see a diplomatic solution that would guarantee the peace for Israel's population in the south. If that is possible, then a ground operation would no longer be required," the official told Reuters. "But if diplomacy fails, we may well have no alternative but to send in ground forces."

Israel adjusts civil air routes over Gaza rocket threath

JERUSALEM - Reuters

Israel has adjusted flight paths for planes using its main international airport near Tel Aviv after rockets were fired from Gaza on the coastal metropolis, the civil aviation chief said today.

 Giora Rom said the new regulations at Ben-Gurion Airport had been in place since Saturday, when an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery was installed nearby. There was no indication that takeoffs or landings at Ben-Gurion had been affected.

 "Because of the rerouting, there is no danger" to civilian aircraft, Rom told Israel's Army Radio.
 


November/19/2012

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