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Palestinians Seek Arab League Help After Tensions Rise With Israel

An Israeli tank drives next to the border between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip, April 8, 2011

Palestinians are seeking diplomatic overtures in a bid to ease an escalation in tensions between Israel and militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA says President Mahmoud Abbas has called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League. The news agency quotes Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa as saying the meeting will take place on Sunday.

The meeting comes in the wake of three days of violence between Gaza and Israel that has killed at least 18 Palestinians.

The latest incidents took place on Saturday. Israeli military strikes into Gaza Strip killed at least four Palestinians as rockets continued to fly into southern Israel from the Palestinian territory.

Israel began pounding targets in the Palestinian territory Thursday after a rocket fired from Gaza struck a school bus in Israel, wounding a 16-year- old boy and the bus driver.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack on children "crossed the line."
However, Hamas said Saturday that it did not mean to target school children. A Hamas spokesman said the militant group did not know that the bus carried children.

Both Israel and Hamas have said they do not want a major escalation. However, the attacks and counter-attacks have continued, with neither side backing down.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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