Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi
Photo: AP
Israeli envoy holds ceasefire talks in Egypt
Egyptian security officials say unnamed Israeli official whisked away directly from tarmac to talks with Cairo officials

An Israeli envoy held talks with Egyptian officials Sunday on a ceasefire in his country's offensive on Gaza as Israel widened the range of its targets, striking more than a dozen homes of Hamas terrorists.


Upon arrival at Cairo's international airport, the Israeli official was whisked away directly from the tarmac and taken to talks with Egyptian authorities, Egyptian security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press. They did not identify the Israeli official.


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Egypt has been leading international efforts to broker a truce since Israel launched its offensive five days earlier aimed at stopping Gaza rocket attacks.


Hamas is linking a truce deal to a complete lifting of the border blockade on Gaza imposed since Islamists seized the territory by force. Hamas also seeks Israeli guarantees to halt targeted killings of its leaders and military commanders.


"The Israeli military is prepared to significantly expand the operation," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.


Gaza terrorists continued their barrage of rocket fire, firing more than two dozen at Israel on Sunday, including a longer-distance projectile that targeted Tel Aviv for a fourth straight day.


One rocket damaged a home in the southern city of Ashkelon, punching a hole in the ceiling. Israel's "Iron Dome" rocket-defense system shot down seven rockets, including the one aimed at Tel Aviv, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.




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