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November 20, 2012
Push for Israel-Hamas cease-fire gains momentum

JERUSALEM (AP) -- A diplomatic push to end Israel's nearly weeklong offensive in the Gaza Strip gained momentum Tuesday, with Egypt's president predicting that airstrikes would soon end, the U.S. secretary of state racing to the region and Israel's prime minister saying his country would be a "willing partner" to a cease-fire with the Islamic militant group Hamas.

As international diplomats worked to cement a deal, senior Hamas officials said some sticking points remained even as relentless airstrikes and rocket attacks between the two sides continued. The Israeli death toll rose to five with the deaths Tuesday of an Israeli soldier and a civilian contractor. More than 130 Palestinians have been killed.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a late-night meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after rushing to the region from Cambodia, where she had accompanied President Barack Obama on a visit.

(34 images)




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Palestinian children stand in the rubble left after an Israeli strike on a house in Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Hatem Moussa
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Palestinians carry a frame from the destroyed house of Islamic Jihad militant Hasam Al Kholy, hit overnight in an Israeli strike on Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Adel Hana
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Palestinians children take cover in a U.N. operated school in Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Bernat Armangue
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Palestinians mourners cry during the funeral of Salem Paul Sweliem during his funeral in Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Bernat Armangue
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An elderly Palestinian walks next to a destroyed building after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Hatem Moussa
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A Palestinian boy walks outside the National Islamic Bank, destroyed overnight in an Israeli strike, in Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Hatem Moussa
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A Palestinian mourner cries during the funeral of Salem Paul Sweliem in Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Bernat Armangue
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Palestinian children stand in the rubble left after an Israeli strike on a house in Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Hatem Moussa
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An Israeli woman reacts at her house hit by a rocket fired by militants from Gaza Strip, in the southern city of Beersheba, Israel, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Tsafrir Abayov
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An Israeli soldier stands on a tank at a staging area near the Israel Gaza Strip Border, southern Israel, early Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Lefteris Pitarakis
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Israeli soldiers gather for a briefing next to tanks and armoured vehicles at a staging area near the Israel Gaza Strip Border, southern Israel, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Lefteris Pitarakis
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Seen through a camouflage net, Israeli soldiers read from a holy book as they pray in a staging area near the Israel Gaza Border, southern Israel, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Ariel Schalit
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An Israeli soldier stands on top of a military vehicle as the sun rises in a staging area near the Israel Gaza Border, southern Israel, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. AP / Ariel Schalit
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Israeli border policemen stand guard during a protest against Israel's military action on the Gaza Strip in Birzeit, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Nasser Shiyoukhi
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An Israeli officer holds a Torah scroll as he reads from a holy book while others gather in a staging area near the Israel Gaza Strip Border, southern Israel, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Ariel Schalit
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Israelis watch a military Iron Dome defense missile system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells from Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Oded Balilty
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An Israeli air force F-15 Eagle jet fighter plane takes off from Tel Nof air force base for a mission over Gaza Strip in central Israel, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Ariel Schalit
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Smoke and fire are seen from an explosion by a high rise housing media organizations in Gaza City, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Hatem Moussa
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People stand in front of a high rise housing media organizations in Gaza City, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Hatem Moussa
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Smoke rises following an Israeli attack on smuggling tunnels on the border between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Eyad Baba
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Palestinians carry injured people out of a media center in Gaza City that was hit by an Israeli strike for the second time in two days Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Bernat Armangue
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Relatives of Rushdi Tamimi who died of his injuries sustained two days ago during clashes with Israeli security forces in Nabi Saleh. West Bank, cry in a Ramallah hospital, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP / Nasser Shiyoukhi
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Palestinians carry bodies of members of the Daloo family during their funeral in Gaza City, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. Eleven members of the Daloo family were killed on Sunday when an Israeli missile struck the two-story home of the family in a residential area of Gaza City. AP / Hatem Moussa
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Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Bernat Armangue
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Palestinians hurry away from a damaged building after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Adel Hana
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A member of the Abdel Aal family is rescued after his family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighbourhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Majed Hamdan
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Osama Abdel Aal is rescued after his family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighborhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Bernat Armangue
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An emergency rescue worker carries a child's body found in the Daloo family house rubble following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Hatem Moussa
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A Palestinian man kisses the hand of a dead relative in the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Bernat Armangue
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Palestinians pray over the body of one and a half year-old baby, Iyad Abu Khoussa, during his funeral at a mosque in Bureij Refugee Camp, central Gaza Strip, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Adel Hana
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Residents inspect the damage at a house after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from inside the Gaza Strip, landed at the community of Ofakim, in southern Israel, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Lefteris Pitarakis
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Residents stand next to a damaged house after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from inside the Gaza Strip, landed at the community of Ofakim, in southern Israel, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Lefteris Pitarakis
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Israeli soldiers march behind an armored personnel carrier in a gathering area near the Israel Gaza Strip border, in southern Israel, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Ariel Schalit
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An Israeli soldier prays next to a tank along the Israel Gaza border in southern Israel, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP / Tsafrir Abayov

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