US tries to mediate the Palestinian – Israeli truce

For the fifth night in a row, there have been shelling back and forth between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The Arab channel Al Jazeera and AP News Agency report at least ten deaths in Gaza City after an Israeli bombing of a house.

Among the victims are eight children, writes Al Jazeera based on Palestinian sources. They were killed in an air raid on the Al-Shati refugee camp in West Gaza. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz writes that a five-month-old baby has been taken out of the rubble alive.

A spokesman for the Israeli army says that every effort is being made to prevent ‘collateral damage’ in the event of attacks on military targets. But a prior warning, as was done at other times, was not an option in this case.

According to a neighbor who spoke to Reuters news agency, no warning was issued by Israel.

The Israeli army also says on Twitter that the Office of a high Hamas commander has been hit. It is not clear whether there have been casualties.

Hamas, the group that has been in power in Gaza since 2007, has once again fired missiles at Israel from the Gaza Strip.

In several cities in southern Israel the air alarm sounded again this morning and this afternoon, according to Israeli media. That was the case last night. In Ashdod and Sderot, near the Gaza Strip, missiles caused considerable damage. In Beersheva a building was hit by rocket shards. According to Israeli newspapers, there are no reports of deaths or injuries.

Reuters writes on the basis of Palestinian health authorities that since Monday at least 136 people have died in Gaza, including 34 children and 21 women. In Israel, at least 8 people have been killed, Reuters reports, including two children.

Meanwhile, the US has stepped up its role as a mediator. The top American diplomat Hady Amr landed in Tel Aviv last night with the aim of bringing the parties to the table.

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