Israel

Israel Says It Prefers Diplomacy, But Preps to Invade Gaza

Egypt working to mediate a truce

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Israel bombed dozens of targets in Gaza on Monday and said that while it was prepared to step up its offensive by sending in troops, it preferred a diplomatic solution that would end Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave.

Mediator Egypt said a deal for a truce to end the fighting could be close. The leader of Hamas said it was up to Israel to end the new conflict it had started. Israel says its strikes are to halt Palestinian missile attacks.

Twelve Palestinian civilians and four fighters were killed in the air strikes, bringing the Gaza death toll since fighting began on Wednesday to 90, more than half of them non-combatants, local officials said. Three Israeli civilians have been killed.

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