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As rockets, retaliation shake region, Israel silent on global mediation

Egypt, the United States and France are concentrating effort on a cease-fire as Gaza rockets and Israeli retaliation continue.

Israel took more barrages from Gaza yesterday and today, with rockets hitting buildings in Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba in the south of the country. The Israel Defense Forces estimated this morning that some 3,150 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory. About 460 of the rockets and mortar shells apparently failed to clear the border and fell inside Gaza territory. In retaliation today, Israeli forces killed senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Hussam Abu Harbeed and continues to target Hamas' tunnel infrastructure.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke this weekend with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who expressed his “unreserved support for Israel’s right to defend itself in light of the rocket fire from Gaza.” Netanyahu also spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The chancellor again sharply condemned the continued rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel and assured the prime minister of the German government’s solidarity. She reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against the attacks,” said her spokesperson Steffen Seibert.

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