At least four Gazans were killed and four others wounded in an Israeli air strike in the early hours of Friday, May 18, one of the deadliest of at least six such raids in less than 48 hours.
Those killed in the attack in the western Zeitun neighborhood were members of the Hamas resistance movement, locals told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
At least six Palestinians were killed and scores others injured on Thursday, May 17, in four Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip.
Rubble was all that remained of a Gaza City building that housed Hamas's Executive Force in one of the raids. On Wednesday, May 16, Israeli air strikes on Hamas facilities in Gaza killed five people.
In response to the intense Israeli air assault, Hamas's armed wing threatened to resume self-bombings in Israel. A Hamas bomber last struck in Israel in 2004.
About 15 Israeli tanks on Thursday also entered the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave from which Israel withdrew in 2005.
The army also deployed a battery of 155mm artillery facing the Gaza Strip to stop rocket attacks.
In Washington, US President George W. Bush said he understood Israeli fears of rocket strikes.
Bush and visiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair appealed to all parties in Gaza to work for peace.
"We're concerned about the violence we see in Gaza. We strongly urge the parties to work toward a two-state solution," Bush said.
Israel's actions threatened to further exacerbate tensions in Gaza, turned into a war zone by five days of battles between rival Fatah and Hamas fighters that has driven the Palestinian unity government to the brink of collapse.
Four more Palestinians were killed on Thursday, May 17, in continued faction fighting between Hamas and the Fatah group of President Mahmoud Abbas — despite a ceasefire agreed late on Wednesday.
The Gaza violence has worsened conditions for Palestinians hard-hit by Western sanctions against the Hamas-led government.
The bloodshed also threatens to torpedo efforts to revive Middle East peacemaking after Arab states adopted a revived plan offering normal ties with Israel if it withdraws from land occupied in war in 1967.
Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2007, 11:38