Israel: We're 'Ready for a Ground Operation'

Hamas rep says peace talks have failed

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 18, 2012 4:29 PM CST

(Newser) – With Israeli air strikes raining down on Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today he would only stop the attacks if Hamas halted its rocket fire, Ynet News reports. Netanyahu added that Israel is looking for "a way to meet the operation's objectives without a ground offensive," but otherwise is "ready for a ground operation." In other updates:

  • Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said all efforts at a ceasefire have failed, the Jerusalem Post reports. But another Hamas rep told Al Jazeera that talks were 90% of the way along. Egypt was trying to broker the ceasefire while hosting an Israeli delegation in Cairo for the talks, Reuters reports.

  • Only 75 rockets landed in Israel from Gaza today, down from an average of 230 rockets per day, Haaretz reports. One rocket barrage hit a house in Israel but caused no injuries, reports Ynet News, and Tel Aviv's "Iron Dome" missile defense system repelled two more rockets, reports the Jerusalem Post.
  • At least 26 people died in Gaza from Israeli bombardments today, bringing the total to 72 since Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defence on Wednesday, the BBC reports. With air strikes ongoing, Israel also renewed shelling from its warships tonight.
  • Hackers have struck Israeli websites more than 44 million times since the latest fighting erupted, NBC News reports. But only one attempt was successful, and that for just 10 minutes, said an Israeli official.
  • The US and Britain defended Israel's right to defend itself, but warned that a ground war would be dangerous for Israeli soldiers and Gaza civilians, the AP reports. If Israel can stop Gaza's rocket attacks "without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza, that's preferable," said President Obama.

A Palestinian man hides during a protest against Israel's operations in Gaza Strip, outside Ofer, an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.
A Palestinian man hides during a protest against Israel's operations in Gaza Strip, outside Ofer, an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media at Hakirya a military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media at Hakirya a military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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