Despite hopes for a brief cease-fire while Egyptian Prime Minister Kandil visited the Gaza Strip, Israeli and Palestinian forces launched rockets and airstrikes Friday.
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Hopes for a brief halt to the fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces were quickly dashed Friday morning, as both sides continued to exchange fire even as Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil visited the Gaza Strip.
The Guardian reports that Israel initially promised to observe a cease-fire during Mr. Kandil's visit, provided that no rockets were launched from Gaza during the same period. But the cease-fire was shattered soon after Kandil's arrival, as Palestinians launched several rockets into southern Israel. Israel retaliated with an airstrike against the home of a Hamas commander in Gaza, killing two people, one of them a child. Those deaths bring the overall death toll of the conflict so far to 21 Palestinians and 3 Israelis.
The Los Angeles Times reports that during his visit, Kandil made no mention of the cease-fire or of ending the violence between Gaza and Israel. "Instead he said Egypt’s loyalty rested squarely with the Gazan people."