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Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Israel thrusts into Gaza on eve of peace talks

December 12, 2007

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— Israeli tanks and bulldozers pushed into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing five Islamic militants and trapping hundreds of people in their homes, while another extremist died from an airstrike elsewhere in the territory.

The incursion - Israel's broadest since Hamas seized control of the coastal strip last June - came a day before the first Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in seven years, casting a pall over the negotiations and underscoring the threat that Hamas poses to implementing any accord.

Palestinian officials said the offensive, along with a construction project in the Har Homa neighborhood of disputed east Jerusalem, threatened to sabotage the talks. They said the plan to build 307 apartments in the traditionally Arab area would dominate today's meeting.

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