As the conflict between Israel and Gaza entered its fifth day, Israeli troops were amassing on the Gaza border in preparation for a possible invasion. In other developments representatives of The United States, Qatar, Hamas, and Israel met with Egyptian mediators in hopes of negotiating a ceasefire. Over the weekend Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into Israel and Israel hit hundreds of terror targets all over the Gaza Strip.
On Saturday, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said in Cairo that “there are some indications that there is a possibility of a cease-fire soon, but we do not yet have firm guarantees.”
The Israeli Navy launched an attack against a media building injuring three staffers at the Quds station, which Israel says is the mouthpiece of Hamas. The Israeli Air force also struck targets connected to the military wing of Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees according the Jerusalem Post.
More that 48 Palestinians have been killed in strikes against the Gaza Strip. Hamas and other terror groups have launched more than 700 rockets at Israel since last weekend killing three and injuring dozens of people, all civilians.
Israel has launched more than 1000 air raids over the past week to target terror infrastructure and to target the heads of the terror groups. On a call with US President Obama Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave assurances that Israel was not going to launch a ground offensive unless the rocket attacks escalate.
A senior US official with knowledge of the call told The Daily Beast:
“The Israeli leadership at this point is leaning against a ground invasion. No one wants that. If Hamas ratchets up the pressure, however, they may elect to do so.”
US intelligence officials are telling the Jerusalem Post that the conversations between Netanyahu and Obama are different from their discourse over Iran with both sides agreeing to open and frank conversations.
Israel was urging members of communities within rocket range to stay close to home on Sunday in case in became necessary to head into bomb shelters.
Palestinian sources in the West Bank are saying they are cautiously optimistic that the truce talks will succeed.