Hisham Kandil and Ismail Haniyeh. Credit: Reuters
Egypt tried to open a tiny window to emergency peace diplomacy in Gaza on Friday, but hopes for even a brief ceasefire while its prime minister was inside the bombarded enclave to talk to leaders of the Islamist Hamas movement were immediately dashed, reported Reuters on Friday.
Prime Minister Hisham Kandil visited the Gaza Strip officially to show solidarity with the Palestinian people after two days of relentless attacks by Israeli warplanes determined to end militant rocket fire at
A Palestinian official close to
Tanks and self-propelled guns were seen near the border area of Friday and sirens sounded again over Tel Aviv, after witnesses in
A Hamas source said the Israeli air force launched an attack on the house of Hamas's commander for southern
"Even though about 50 rockets have fallen in
Kandil said: "
Palestinian medics said two people were killed in the disputed explosion at the house, one of them a child. It raised the Palestinian death toll since Wednesday to 22. Three Israelis were killed by a rocket on Thursday.
The Palestinian dead include eight militants and 14 civilians, among them seven children and a pregnant woman. A Hamas rocket killed three Israeli civilians in a town north of
"If Hamas says it understands the message and commits to a long ceasefire, via the Egyptians or anyone else, this is what we want. We want quiet in the south and a stronger deterrence," Israeli vice prime minister Moshe Yaalon said.
"The Egyptians have been a pipeline for passing messages. Hamas always turns (to them) to request a ceasefire. We are in contact with the Egyptian defense ministry. And it could be a channel in which a ceasefire is reached," he told Israeli radio.