Friday, November 16, 2012

Israel, Gaza fire continues during Egypt PM visit

 Maan News Agency
Published today (updated) 16/11/2012 11:25
Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip
Nov. 16, 2012. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel and Gaza continued to exchange fire during the visit of the Egyptian premier on Friday morning, with witnesses reporting two Palestinians killed in northern Gaza.

A military spokesman said he was not familiar with any army operations during this time.

Israel had said it would suspend all military action during Hisham Kandil's three-hour visit, so long as Gaza militant groups also halt fire.

Israel's army said more than 50 rockets landed in south Israel over two hours on Friday morning, with no reports of injuries.

During Kandil's visit to Shifa hospital in Gaza City, the bodies of two Palestinians were brought in after an airstrike on Jabalia, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Seven people, mostly children, were injured in the strike on the home of the Abu Warda family, medics said.

In south Gaza, Hamas said the Israeli air force bombed the house of Hamas's commander for southern Gaza.

"Hamas does not respect the Egyptian prime minister's visit to Gaza and violates the temporary ceasefire that Israel agreed to during the visit," Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote on Twitter.

The Egyptian premier denounced Israel's attacks in comments to reporters at Gaza's Shifa hospital.

"This tragedy cannot pass in silence and the world should take responsibility in stopping this aggression," Kandil said.

But he vowed Cairo would do its utmost to secure a ceasefire to hold the fighting, which has raged since Israel's assassination of a Hamas commander on Wednesday.

"Egypt will spare no effort ... to stop the aggression and to achieve a truce," Kandil told reporters.

Reuters contributed to this report