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Israeli Aircraft Attack Office of Palestinian Prime Minister

Israeli aircraft have attacked the Gaza city office of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, in a continuing offensive aimed at forcing militants to free an Israeli soldier captured last Sunday.

Mr. Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, was not inside the office at the time of the attack that set the building ablaze early Sunday.

He has condemned the airstrike, and called on the international community to intervene and stop assaults on Gaza.

A Hamas militant was killed in a separate Israeli attack.  A third strike hit a school, but there were no reports of casualties.
 
Palestinian militants from the armed wing of Hamas and two other groups (the Popular Resistance Committees and the Army of Islam) said they will release the soldier if Israel stops its Gaza assault and releases one thousand prisoners.

Israel has rejected the demand.  Interior Minister Ronni Bar-On told Army Radio Israel will continue to strike institutions connected to Hamas.

In Washington, President Bush said the release of the soldier is key to ending the crisis.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday negotiations are continuing with the militants to secure the soldier's release.

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