Gaza toll soars as Israeli raids continue

Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza has claimed its 111th Palestinian life as Hamas continued to launch rockets into central Israel and the United States offered to help broker a truce.

Diplomatic efforts failed to make any headway, with US President Barack Obama phoning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The United States remains prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities,” the White House said.

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But Netanyahu remained resolute, saying he would not end his campaign until he achieved his goal of stopping the Hamas fire.

“No international pressure will prevent us from striking, with all force, against the terrorist organisation which calls for our destruction,” he told a news conference in Tel Aviv.

Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off a question about possible ceasefire efforts, signaling there was no end in sight to the operation.

“I will end it when our goals are realized. And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet,” Netanyahu said, adding that he was in touch with numerous world leaders, including President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Canada.

“No international pressure will prevent us from acting with all power,” he said.

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