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Israel Prepares For Gaza Offensive Following Violence

  • VOA News

Israeli forces are massing around the Gaza Strip after an outburst of violence that killed at least one Israeli civilian and six Palestinian militants. Israel's Defense Minister ,Shaul Mofaz has ordered troops to prepare for a ground offensive in Gaza, though he said the Palestinian Authority will be given time to rein in militants who have been firing rockets at Israeli targets. One rocket attack killed an Israeli woman near Gaza Thursday. Israeli helicopter strikes in the West Bank and Gaza Friday killed six members of the militant group Hamas, including four who were riding in a van carrying homemade rockets. Palestinian security forces also clashed Friday with Hamas members in Gaza City. The gunbattle killed two bystanders and left 25 others wounded. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to visit the region next week to press Israeli and Palestinian officials to cooperate on Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza next month.
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