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Israeli Security Cabinet Meets on Gaza Operations


Israel's security cabinet met on Wednesday and decided against a large-scale military offensive in the Gaza Strip. VOA's Jim Teeple reports from Jerusalem, the International Committee of the Red Cross has suspended its operations in Gaza, after two of its representatives were detained by Palestinian militants.

Key Israeli ministers decided against occupying large parts of the Gaza Strip as Israel continues to grapple with how to stop what has become incessant rocket fire from Palestinian militants who are firing increasingly sophisticated rockets from Gaza into southern Israel.

Cabinet member Shimon Peres, says for now Israel will continue with targeted military operations in Gaza.

Peres says pinpointed military strikes can have an effect, and that negotiations with the Palestinians should also be pursued.

Two senior Israeli officials met with senior aides to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday as part of ongoing efforts to gain the release of an Israeli soldier being held by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Heavy fighting continued in Gaza on Wednesday with large numbers of Israeli troops fighting Hamas militants in the towns of Beit Hanoun and Jebaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian militants continued to fire their home made Qassam rockets into southern Israel, striking a school in the town of Sderot, just before pupils arrived.

Meanwhile the International Committee of the Red Cross suspended its activities in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after two of its foreign workers were kidnapped for eight hours by Palestinian militants. The two Italian nationals were released unharmed, becoming the latest foreigners to be abducted in the increasingly lawless territory.

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