Israel, Hamas shun truce calls; toll 821 | world | Hindustan Times
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Israel, Hamas shun truce calls; toll 821

Israeli tanks and planes bombarded the Gaza Strip on Saturday and Hamas militants fired rockets into Israel, both sides ignoring a truce window and defying international efforts to stop the conflict.

world Updated: Jan 11, 2009 01:12 IST

Israeli tanks and planes bombarded the Gaza Strip on Saturday and Hamas militants fired rockets into Israel, both sides ignoring a truce window and defying international efforts to stop the conflict.

An Israeli tank shell killed eight Palestinians in Jabalya, a refugee camp in the north of the Gaza Strip, and an air strike killed a woman in in nearby Beit Lahiya, Palestinian medics said.

All of those killed in Jabalya were believed to be men from the same family. The deaths raised the Palestinian toll to at least 821, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.

The fighting continued even during a three-hour ceasefire window that Israel has established in recent days to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza to sustain the 1.5 million people living there.

As Israeli tanks advanced in northern Gaza and aircraft hit targets across the coastal strip, Hamas rockets hit Ashkelon, near Gaza, wounding three Israelis.

Israel has pressed on with its offensive despite a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire and Egyptian-European efforts at mediation, saying it is intent on stopping Hamas rocket fire. Hamas too has ignored calls for a halt to hostilities, firing at least eight rockets at Israel.

In an attempt to breathe life into a faltering Egyptian-led mediation effort, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party is a political foe of Hamas, met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for talks in Cairo.

They discussed the possible deployment of international forces along the Gaza-Egypt border under any ceasefire deal, but Abbas said they should be in Gaza itself, not along the border.