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Israelis Continue Gaza Offensive


Israeli forces continued their military operations in the northern Gaza Strip, where at least seven Palestinians were killed on Thursday. VOA's Jim Teeple reports a senior Hamas leader visited Egypt Thursday for talks with Egyptian officials on a possible prisoner exchange with Israel.

Tanks and troops backed up by Israeli airstrikes attacked a housing project in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya. Israeli authorities say they are continuing their offensive to stop Palestinian militants from firing rockets into southern Israel.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni led foreign ambassadors on a tour of the rocket battered Israeli town of Sderot Thursday.

Livni says Palestinians and Israelis on both sides of the Gaza border live close to each other and the rocket fire must stop.

Meanwhile a senior Hamas militant, Khaled Meshaal, traveled to Cairo from his home in Damascus on Thursday for talks with Egyptian officials about a possible prisoner exchange involving an Israeli soldier held by Palestinian militants and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Egyptian officials have been trying to broker a prisoner exchange, as well as help facilitate the creation of a Palestinian unity government not led by Hamas.

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