Israel's security Cabinet is set to vote Saturday on whether to end the
country's three-week offensive against the Palestinian militant group
Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Media reports from the region say
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approves of an Egyptian-brokered
unilateral cease-fire that calls for a 10-day truce. Israeli forces
would remain in Gaza during that time.
Hamas says it will
fight on unless its demands are met. Hamas wants a total Israeli
pullout from Gaza within a week and a re-opening of all Gaza border
crossings, including the one with Egypt.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urged Israel to immediately end its
Gaza offensive and to withdraw from the territory. He said it was in
Israel's best interest to accept an unconditional cease-fire.
officials have said they are close to reaching the goals of their
offensive, which they say is aimed at stopping militant rocket fire
into Israel. About 10 rockets were launched toward Israel Saturday.
says it carried out overnight air strikes on 50 Hamas targets,
including suspected rocket-launching sites and arms smuggling tunnels.
Nations officials say two boys were killed in the northern Gaza town of
Beit Lahiya when Israeli shelling hit a U.N.-run school. At least 14
people were wounded in the incident.
The Israeli military has
shelled several U.N. facilities since its offensive began. Israel says
it has targeted structures where it believes Palestinian militants are
The Israeli military says four soldiers were wounded Saturday, possibly by friendly fire.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his call for an immediate cease-fire during a stop in Lebanon today.
medics say nearly 1,200 Gazans, including 300 children, have been
killed in Israel's military campaign. Thirteen Israelis, three of them
civilians, have died in the conflict.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.