JERUSALEM – Both the Israeli military and militants in the Gaza strip continued relentless air strikes Friday as Israeli troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers massed near the Palestinian territory, signaling a ground invasion might be growing near.
Hopes of even a brief cease-fire were dashed after both sides accused the other of violating a proposed cease-fire during a visit by the prime minister of Egypt to Gaza.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had told Egypt that Israel was prepared to suspend its military offensive in the Gaza Strip during Prime Minister Hisham Kandil’s three-hour visit there Friday.
However, Israel later said Hamas did not honor the deal, saying rockets fired from Gaza had hit several sites in southern Israel as Kandil was in the enclave.
Israel strongly denied it had carried out any attacks from the time Kandil entered Gaza, though Gaza militants claimed Israel had continued strikes during the visit.
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