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Egypt claims raids to end; death toll in Gaza 121

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Egypt claims raids to end; death toll in Gaza 121
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Gaza City: Fresh exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas continued unabated amid intensified international diplomatic efforts, with Egypt saying that Israeli "aggression" would end Tuesday, as a week of incessant raids claimed at least 121 Palestinian lives.

A loud boom was heard in Jerusalem with the Israeli police and army saying a rocket had crashed into an open area near Gush Etzion. No casualties were reported.

An Israeli air strike on Gaza City today killed at least five people and took the death toll of Palestinians to 121.

Eleven Hamas rockets came flying into the Israeli city of Beer Sheva, causing casualties. More than 30 rockets were fired into the area today, but most were destroyed by Iron Dome interceptors.

Israel's air force dropped leaflets across Gaza City that asked people to evacuate their homes "immediately".

The Israeli military, meanwhile, reported that a strike "targeted two terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip," and a "direct hit was confirmed."

"Zionist enemy would pay high price for his crimes in Gaza," Hamas' military wing the al Qassam Brigades quoted one of its leaders as saying.

Egyptian President Muhammed Mursi said Israel's "aggression" against Gaza would end today and Egypt's mediation efforts would produce "positive results" shortly, the official Mena news agency reported.

A top delegation of Arab ministers led by Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi began a solidarity mission in Gaza today looking to bring an end to the hostilities.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama today dispatched his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East on a fire fighting mission to defuse tension and prevent any further escalation of conflict in the region.

"Clinton will depart today and she'll travel to Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Cairo, leaving from Phonm Penh," Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication, said.

PTI

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