Israel bombs Gaza tunnels

Violence as Abbas and Netanyahu hold peace talks with Hillary

Israel bombs Gaza tunnels

The violence coincided with a visit to Jerusalem by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was taking part in negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Witnesses in the Palestinian town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, said the Israeli air strikes killed a tunnel worker and wounded two other people. There was no immediate Israeli confirmation of the attacks.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said a rocket and eight mortar bombs fired from the Gaza Strip, territory run by Hamas Islamists opposed to Abbas’ peace efforts, landed in southern Israel.

Down to business

In Jerusalem, little more than an hour’s drive from Gaza, Clinton said Israeli and Palestinian leaders were “getting down to business” on the major issues dividing them, though there was no sign they were any closer to resolving a looming crisis over Israeli West Bank settlements.

The American secretary of state was in Jerusalem for a second day of talks aimed in part at ending the impasse, a day after meeting Netanyahu and Abbas at a summit hosted by Egypt.

“They are getting down to business and they have begun to grapple with the core issues that can only be resolved through face-to-face negotiations,” Hillary told reporters. “I believe they are serious about reaching an agreement that results in two states living side by side in peace and security.”

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