Airstrikes, unrest continue in conflict between Israel and Hamas for fifth day

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At least 11 civilians in Gaza were killed Sunday as a result of an Israeli airstrike as the conflict between Israel and Hamas carried on for a fifth day. According to Palestinian medics, Sunday’s incident was the highest civilian death toll in a single incident during five days of fighting, reported Reuters.

Here’s a look at the recent conflict via photos from AFP, Getty and Reuters photographers in the region. | NOTE: Some photos are graphic showing visual coverage of injury or death.

More diplomacy to try to halt Israel-Gaza fighting
Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ori Lewis | Reuters
9:41 p.m. EST, November 18, 2012

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Hostilities between Islamist militants and Israel entered a sixth day on Monday as diplomatic efforts were set to intensify to try to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

International pressure for a ceasefire seemed certain to mount after the deadliest single incident in the flare-up on Sunday claimed the lives of at least 11 Palestinian civilians, including four children.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was due to arrive in Cairo to add his weight to the truce efforts. Egypt has taken the lead in trying to broker a ceasefire and its officials met the parties on Sunday.

Israeli media said a delegation from Israel had been to Cairo for talks on ending the fighting, although a government spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi met Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, and Ramadan Shallah of Islamic Jihad as part of the mediation efforts, but a statement did not say if talks were conclusive.

Izzat Risheq, a close aide to Meshaal, wrote in a Facebook message that Hamas would agree to a ceasefire only after Israel “stops its aggression, ends its policy of targeted assassinations and lifts the blockade of Gaza”.

Listing Israel’s terms, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon wrote on Twitter: “If there is quiet in the south and no rockets and missiles are fired at Israel’s citizens, nor terrorist attacks engineered from the Gaza Strip, we will not attack.”

Israel withdrew settlers from Gaza in 2005 and two years later Hamas took control of the impoverished enclave, which the Israelis have kept under blockade.

The 11 Palestinian civilians were apparently killed during an Israeli attack on a militant, which brought a three-storey house crashing down on them.

Gaza health officials have said 75 Palestinians, 21 of them children and several women, have been killed in Gaza since Israel’s offensive began. Hundreds have been wounded.

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