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Hamas Missiles Drown Out Talk of Ceasefire

Hamas unleashes new rocket and missile bombardments. One hits a home. Elderly woman rescued uninjured. Truce talks continue.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/21/2012, 11:23 AM

Rocket Damage in Ashdod
Rocket Damage in Ashdod
Flash 90

Hamas unleashed new rounds of rocket missile bombardments on southern Israel Wednesday morning as United Nations and American officials try to reach a ceasefire.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system blew up at least a dozen missiles, including those aimed at Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon.

Most of the others landed in open areas, but one missile exploded at a house in Be’er Tuvia, a community next to Kiryat Malachi and located halfway between Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv.

Rescue workers evacuated an elderly woman from the house, which was set on fire by the blast. She was not injured.

The rocket fire and continued IDF aerial strikes on terrorists in Gaza continued at the same time U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is meeting with regional leaders to try to help hammer out a ceasefire.

A Hamas senior official announced late Wednesday morning that the last details of an Egyptian-brokered agreement are being worked out.

Israeli officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said that that there are significant gaps on the terms but that there probably will be an accord.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Israel on Tuesday after speaking with Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi, who has openly condemned Israel  for “aggression.”  His prime minister visited Gaza briefly earlier this week to show solidarity for Hamas.

Clinton and Ban presumably are trying to work out a way to meet Israel’s demand that there will not be a repeat of violations of previous ceasefires.

They also have to find a way to convince Hamas to accept a ceasefire without meeting its demand that Israel remove the maritime embargo, which helps prevent the smuggling of arms into Gaza. It is highly doubtful that Israel would agree to remove the embargo, a move that would enable Hamas to freely bring in long-range missiles and anti-aircraft missiles from Iran.