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Nov 20, 2012

Clinton vows work on Gaza truce “in days ahead”

JERUSALEM, Nov 20 (Reuters) – The United States signalled on
Tuesday that a Gaza truce could take days to achieve after
Hamas, the Palestinian enclave’s ruling Islamist militants,
backed away from an assurance that it and Israel would stop
exchanging fire within hours.

“In the days ahead the United States will work with our
partners here in Israel and across the region toward an outcome
that bolsters security for the people of Israel, improves
conditions for the people of Gaza and moves toward a
comprehensive peace for all people of the region,” U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Jerusalem.

Nov 20, 2012

Israeli missile-makers strive to meet Iron Dome demand

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel sees its Iron Dome anti-rocket system as a noted success of its Gaza assault. The only problem is keeping up with demand for the interceptor missiles, their makers said on Tuesday.

“We’ve been working in non-stop shifts,” said an official with Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd, which developed the system. He declined to be named for security reasons.

Nov 19, 2012

Imported or homemade, Gaza’s rocket arsenals bedevil Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s assault on Gaza’s rocket arsenals is aimed at countering what it sees as a growing strategic threat posed by Iranian-supplied missiles smuggled in through Egypt.

Though by the far the superior military power, Israel had been unable to stop the Palestinian rockets needling its southern towns over the past decade.

Nov 19, 2012

Israel pounds Gaza as rocket fire wanes; talks in Egypt

GAZA/JERUSALEM, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Israel bombed dozens of
suspected guerrilla sites in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on
Monday and Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave dropped off
as international efforts to broker a truce intensified.

Ten civilians and two field commanders from the Islamic
Jihad faction were killed and at least 30 other Palestinians
were hurt in the new air strikes, hospital officials said,
bringing the death toll from six days of clashes in Gaza to 85.

Nov 19, 2012

More diplomacy to try to halt Israel-Gaza fighting

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel bombed dozens of suspected guerrilla sites in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Monday and Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave dropped off as international efforts to broker a truce intensified.

Ten civilians and two field commanders from the Islamic Jihad faction were killed and at least 30 other Palestinians were hurt in the new air strikes, hospital officials said, bringing the death toll from six days of clashes in Gaza to 85.

Nov 18, 2012

Some Gaza rockets stripped of explosives to fly further-Israelis

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Some of the Palestinian rockets fired far into Israel during the Gaza flare-up have lacked powerful warheads because they were stripped down to increase range and spread alarm over a wider population, Israeli security sources said on Sunday.

“Our assessment is that the prestige of setting off alarms deep in Israel, and being perceived as fighting on, is as important to them now as spilling our blood,” said an Israeli official briefed on security cabinet decisions.

Nov 17, 2012

Tel Aviv saved by Iron Dome intercept

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel rushed a fifth Iron Dome air defense battery into service in the Tel Aviv area on Saturday, using it within hours to shoot down a rocket fired at the coastal metropolis from the Gaza Strip.

But the successful interception, witnessed by a Reuters correspondent, appeared to stretch the capabilities of the unit meant to provide coverage for Israel’s biggest conurbation, which includes its main international airport, 15 km (6 miles) inland.

Nov 16, 2012

Israel’s Barak seeks three more Iron Dome rocket interceptors

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Defence Minister Ehud Barak will seek cabinet approval for funds that could provide Israel with three new Iron Dome rocket interceptors, officials said on Friday as cross-border fighting surged in Gaza.

Israel’s military air defence corps has four Iron Dome batteries deployed and will receive a fifth from state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd after Barak rushed its production, his ministry said in a statement.

Nov 16, 2012

Massing troops and tanks near Gaza, Israel says wants no war

JERUSALEM, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Israeli tanks and troops
massed outside Gaza and the military said on Friday it was
calling up 16,000 reservists, signs of a possible imminent
invasion of the Palestinian enclave after 48 hours of air
strikes.

Israel’s warplanes, drones and helicopters appeared to shift
focus from suspected Palestinian rocket sites to the northern
Gaza frontier, where their bombs created incursion corridors by
clearing landmines or guerrilla gun nests.

Nov 15, 2012

Analysis: Israel not rushing to invade Gaza

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s threat to reprise its Gaza invasion of four years ago if its air strikes against Hamas do not end rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave masks important differences between then and now.

Two days into the assault, the absence of the saturated aerial bombing seen at the start of the last Gaza war in 2008 suggested the Israelis were not yet carving safer access points for ground troops.