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Israel continues to bomb besieged Gaza as toll nears 130
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Gaza99(7).jpgIsrael continued its relentless assault of Gaza for a fifth day Saturday, vowing no let-up in a bombing campaign which has killed 127 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and injured nearly 1,000.
 
Fighters from Gaza responded by firing nine more rockets towards Israeli occupied territories, with Hamas rejecting international calls to surrender, insisting Israel must first end its assault. 
 
In the latest strike, six men were killed in the Sheikh Radwan district of western Gaza City, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, according to AFP. 
 
Aged from 21 to 58, they were sitting outside their homes in the area when the strike hit, eyewitnesses said.
 
Their deaths brought the toll on Saturday alone to 22, including two women killed in a strike that hit a charitable association housing the disabled in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.
 
Another three people were killed in eastern Gaza City, and three in an attack on the western side of town.
 
Local officials said the day's raids across the coastal enclave hit targets that included a bank, two mosques and homes of Hamas officials.
 
Speaking at a news conference in Tel Aviv on Friday, Netanyahu said he would not end the assault until he achieved his goal of stopping the Hamas fire.
 
Ismail Haniya, Gaza's former premier and the most senior Hamas official in the coastal enclave, ruled out any halt to hostilities.
 
"(Israel) is the one that started this aggression and it must stop, because we are (simply) defending ourselves," he said.
 
Early Saturday, 16 Palestinians died in a wave of Israeli air strikes.
 
So far, no one in Israel has been killed. Two have been seriously wounded, including a man at a petrol station hit by a rocket.
 

Thousands protest against Israel in London
 
Thousands of activists and concerned citizens gathered on Friday in front of the Israeli embassy in London to protest against Israel's continued military assault on Gaza. The turnout was so massive that police tried to prevent people from accessing the protest, but their efforts were unsuccessful and protesters surged through the police barriers to completely block off one of the busiest commercial streets in Central London.
 
The protest was organized by a coalition of groups, and was the second mass mobilization in London in less than a week demanding an end to Israel's on-going crimes in Palestine, the middle east monitor reported. 
 
About 10,000 people took part in the peaceful demonstration, completely blocking off traffic in the busy commercial street. They even commandeered a double decker bus, with the crowd cheering loudly when a rabbi joined the protesters who were standing on top.
 
The rabbi held up a banner that read: "Judaism rejects the Zionist state and condemns its criminal siege and occupation."
 
The protest in London is part a wave of mass mobilizations around the world over the past week demanding an end to Israel's brutal assault on the Gaza Strip. The Popular Committees of Palestine had issued a call for an international day of rage on Friday.
 

Tourists leave Israel because of war
 
Large numbers of tourists visiting Israel left the country fearing further deterioration in the security situation as the Israeli war on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continues, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Friday.
 
An American tourist told the newspaper that he could not find space on a plane because of the large numbers of tourists planning to leave. He reiterated that tens of thousands of tourists are leaving.
 
In the same context, the newspaper said that a Polish plane refused to land in Ben Gurion airport because it was targeted by a Palestinian rocket on Friday. It was obliged to land in Cyprus.
 

Resistance is to win, Abbas' political life to end
 
Member of Fatah Revolutionary Council Hussam Khader said that the Israeli war on Gaza would lead to a victory for the Palestinian resistance that would end Abbas' political role.
 
Posting on his Facebook page, Khader said, "The war on Gaza will lead to an emotional victory for the Palestinian resistance, and that will put an end to the political life of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas."
 
He also said, "The expected victory will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip."
 
Khader's remarks came at the same time Abbas criticized the Palestinian resistance and said he could do nothing for the Palestinians under Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip.
 
Khader is one of the founders of Fatah youth movement. He has been arrested more than 25 times. He was expelled by the Israeli occupation in 1988 to Lebanon.
 

Sisi warns against Gaza 'escalation'
 
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned Saturday that escalating the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza would cost more "innocent lives".
 
Sisi's spokesman said the government was in touch with both sides after the president met Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair in Cairo. 
 
"The president warned of the dangers of military escalation, and the casualties it would cause among innocent civilians," the spokesman said in a statement.

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