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Question of the Day
The fighting killed 166 Palestinians, including scores of civilians, and six Israelis. Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. envoy, said more than 1,230 Palestinians were injured, predominantly women and children.
In Cairo, Egypt is hosting separate talks with Israeli and Hamas envoys on the next phase of the cease-fire — a new border deal for blockaded Gaza. Hamas demands an end to border restrictions, while Israel insists Hamas halt weapons smuggling to Gaza.
Mansour also accused Israel of intensifying its use of “excessive and lethal force” against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in recent days and of arresting at least 230 Palestinian civilians since the Gaza fighting began, including several members of the Palestinian Legislative Council who were detained at dawn Friday.
The Palestinian U.N. observer called on the Security Council and the international community “to remain vigilant in their demands for a complete cessation of hostilities and for compliance by Israel.”
A poll Friday showed about half of Israelis thinks their government should have continued its Gaza offensive.
The independent Maagar Mohot poll showed 49 percent of respondents felt Israel should have kept pursuing squads that fire rockets into Israel, 31 percent supported the decision to stop and 20 percent had no opinion. Twenty-nine percent thought Israel should have sent ground troops into Gaza. The poll of 503 respondents had an error margin of 4.5 percentage points.
The same survey showed Netanyahu’s Likud Party and electoral partner Israel Beiteinu losing some support, but his hard-line bloc was still favored to form the next government after Jan. 22 elections.
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