Israel says it has regained control of the Gaza border


GAZA: Israel says it has regained control of the Gaza border and is planting mines in areas where Hamas militants toppled the barrier after another night of air raids on the Palestinian enclave in retaliation for the weekend assault, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Israel has called up an unprecedented 300,000 reservists, is blockading Gaza and may be planning a ground assault.

Israeli TV channels say Hamas fighters killed some 900 people in their unprecedented weekend attack including 260 at a desert music festival. Gaza’s Health Ministry puts the Palestinian death toll at 687 in retaliatory strikes.

Hamas said it would execute an Israeli captive for every civilian house bombed without warning and will not negotiate over hostages “under fire”.

Hamas is open to discussions over truce with Israel

With Israel on a war footing, a cabinet member from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party said it could set up a national unity government within hours.

In another development, Israeli shelling on Lebanon killed at least three Hezbollah militants, the group said.

Various nations have reported citizens perished and abducted by Hamas. Thailand said 18 had died, Argentina 15, the US 11. More than ten Britons are feared dead or missing, the BBC broadcaster reported.


The US, which already provides Israel with $3.8 billion in military assistance each year, is giving extra security help but has no intention of sending troops, officials said.

The European Union backtracked in disarray on an announcement that aid to Palestinians had been suspended.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to visit Moscow.

Qatari mediators have held calls to try to negotiate freedom for Israeli women and children seized by Hamas in exchange for 36 Palestinian women and children in Israel’s prisons, a source briefed on the talks told Reuters. An Israeli official said no negotiations were under way.

On the other hand, the United States has warned Hamas backer Iran not to get involved in the conflict.

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