Israel battles Hamas as Egyptian truce talks plod on

Sakher Abu El Oun
AFP
Monday, Jan 12, 2009

Israeli infantry units clashed with Hamas fighters across Gaza on Monday as Israel sent reservists to boost its ground forces and talks on ending the 17-day-old war plodded on in Egypt.

Troops battled Hamas militants across the Gaza Strip, with the most violent clashes reported in the north of the Palestinian enclave, battered by a war that has claimed more than 900 lives.

At least six people were reported killed as a result of Monday's clashes, medics said.

Hamas and its allies remained defiant in the face of the assault, firing three rockets and mortars that crashed inside Israel without causing injuries, the army said.

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The fighting came as Israel poured reservists into Gaza to reinforce ground troops that have been operating there for more than a week. The Israeli media speculated the move could be a sign that the offensive could intensify.

In Egypt, which has been spearheading Western-backed efforts to end the war that has sparked widespread protests across the world, talks were due to resume between Egyptian officials and Hamas.

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