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Hamas talks truce as death toll climbs past 500

Hamas talks truce as death toll climbs past 500

by Reuters

High security along the border with Gaza as the death toll climbed above 500. Israeli forces were on the move ---- their advance --- backed by jets and tank fire.

They pounded this neighborhood near the southern border --- wounded civilians had to evacuate --- including children. Injuries weren't confined to Gaza --- Israeli forces suffered several injuries as Hamas fired across the border.

By late afternoon, the Islamist group's deputy chief had, had enough.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DEPUTY HAMAS CHIEF ISMAIL HANIYEH, SAYING:

"Gaza is a graveyard for the invaders ."

Ismail Haniyeh called for a ceasefire with these terms.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DEPUTY HAMAS CHIEF ISMAIL HANIYEH, SAYING:

"The aggression must be stopped and a guarantee should be given it would not be repeated. The blockade must be lifted, this unjust blockade that our Palestinian people are living in."

His call for a ceasefire came in the wake of many calls from the West for an end to the violence - and as Washington dispatched its top diplomat to Egypt to try and broker a truce.

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