Nov. 19 - As violence rages in the Middle East Arab leaders say truce talks are ongoing. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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An Islamic Jihad local commander is killed Monday in an Israeli air strike on a tower block that houses many international media.
Israel bombed dozens of targets in Gaza Monday. It said that while it is prepared to step up its offensive by sending in troops, it prefers a diplomatic solution to end the violence.
At a news conference in Cairo, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said Israel had requested a ceasefire.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HAMAS LEADER, KHALED MESHAAL, SAYING:
"We will not accept any Israeli demands, they are the ones who attacked. Secondly, a ceasefire will occur when our demands are met. They are asking for a ceasefire, then the aggression should also end and we insist on the achievement of our demands."
In an interview with Reuters, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil said negotiations were ongoing.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER HISHAM KANDIL, SAYING:
"I think negotiations are going on as we speak, and I hope we will reach something soon that we will stop this violence and counter-violence."
Twelve civilians and four fighters were killed in the air strikes in Gaza Monday raising the Palestinian death toll to 90 since fighting began Wednesday. Three Israeli civilians have been killed in the violence.
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