Israel-Gaza crisis: New attacks amid truce discussions

From BBC News MiddleEast
21 November, 2012 updated at 5:10 ET

Israel-Gaza crisis: New attacks amid truce discussions

Destroyed compound of the internal security ministry in Gaza City, 21 Nov
The attack on the Hamas government compound was one of the largest so far

Israeli missiles have destroyed a key compound of the Hamas government in Gaza, as international mediators continue to try to broker a ceasefire.

The attack was one of 100 overnight by the Israeli military. Gaza officials said three Palestinians were killed.

Militants fired 29 rockets into Israel overnight, Israel says, and media now report a bus explosion in Tel Aviv.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the UN secretary general are in the region to discuss a ceasefire.

Mrs Clinton and Ban Ki-moon have been in the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. They will later travel to Egypt, where they will meet Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi in the early afternoon local time.

Sources in Gaza have told the BBC that talks on a ceasefire have already recommenced in Cairo.

Some 139 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive, which it says is aimed at ending rocket fire from Gaza, with the killing last week of a Hamas military leader.

Media office

Israel’s military, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said it had attacked more than 100 sites in Gaza overnight “of which approximately 50 were underground rocket launchers”.

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Before me two men are salvaging burnt & damaged copies of the Quran from the rubble of the compound”

image of Paul Danahar
Paul DanaharBBC Middle East bureau chief

It said 29 rockets had been launched into Israel by militants in Gaza, of which 12 were intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defence system.

The BBC’s Paul Danahar in Gaza visited the site of the attack on the Hamas ministry, to see a compound that had been laid to waste and was little more than dust and rubble.

Two men were salvaging burnt and damaged copies of the Koran from the rubble – one was digging the Korans out, the other dusting them off and stacking them up.

Our correspondent says this is probably the largest attack so far – on a compound that organises Hajj visits, issues passports and licences and houses a Hamas interior ministry office.

Other sites hit in Gaza included a banker’s villa, tunnels to Egypt used by smugglers and a media office, said to  ..Please Read More..  On The BBC Site