Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says any decision by Israel to end its attacks in the Gaza Strip will depend on a daily assessment of its military operations against the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Livni spoke after holding talks today, Thursday in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. She reiterated Israel's objection to a French-proposed 48-hour cease-fire in Gaza. She also said by carrying out air strikes on Hamas targets, Israel has affected most of what she called the "infrastructure of terrorism" in the territory.
Israeli warplanes attacked Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip for a sixth day today, destroying government buildings and killing a top Hamas leader.Hamas says Nizar Rayyan was killed in an air strike on his home in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. He had close ties to Hamas's armed wing and was an outspoken advocate of renewing suicide bombings on Israel.
This is believed to be the first time Israel has targeted a high-level member of Hamas's leadership group in the ongoing conflict. Palestinian sources say at least six other people were killed in the air strike, including members of Rayyan's family. Israeli missiles fired from the air and sea today also hit Hamas's parliament building and ministries, and destroyed smuggling tunnels, weapons-storage facilities and rocket-launching sites.
For its part, Hamas fired more rockets deep into Israeli territory. One of them hit a residential building in the city of Ashdod, more than 30 kilometers north of Gaza. There were no casualties. Meanwhile, Israeli troops and tanks continued massing along the border preparing for a possible ground attack.The Israeli raids have killed more than 400 Palestinians and wounded about two thousand more.
The United Nations says about a quarter of the dead were civilians. Hamas rocket attacks have killed four Israelis, three of them civilians, since Saturday.