Fresh violence between Israel and Palestinians kills 11
Hopes for a cease-fire appeared to be dashed.
Israel struck against Palestinian militants on Sunday, killing one man and wounding another in a new round of fighting. The airstrike has thrown into question efforts to bring a cease-fire to the deadliest bout of fighting in months.
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine says their men were the targets of Sunday's strike. The Israeli military confirmed that they conducted the airstrike claiming that the Palestinian militants were preparing to fire a rocket into Israel.
On Saturday, nine militants and one Israeli civilian lost their lives in an exchange of fire that lasted well into the night. According to sources, the Palestinians fired at least 10 rockets into Israel starting in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, and Israeli aircraft targeted at least six militants sites in Gaza.
By late Sunday, things had become relatively quiet once again. A cease-fire offer from Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian militant group responsible for most of the rocket attacks, is the reason behind the lull.
A senior member of Islamic Jihad said, "when all jet fighters leave the skies of Gaza we will stop firing rockets."
Israel has not issued a formal response to Islamic Jihad's offer of a cease-fire, but Netanyahu has recently said that he did not want things to get worse, and that Israel would continue to defend itself against anyone who attacks it.
Israeli defense officials said that the military was holding itself back in an effort to prevent further escalation of violence. The defense officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to discuss the situation.
Despite the offer for a cease-fire, both sides remain prepared for further attacks. As a precautionary measure, Israeli officials have closed schools, and colleges and police have deployed reinforcements drawn from other areas of the country.
More than 1 million Israelis currently live under the threat of rocket attacks from Islamic militants.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Israel, Palestine, Islamic Jihad, militants, terrorists, rockets, air strikes
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