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Israel Appears Ready to Broaden War

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Israelis and Palestinians are blaming each other for a rocket strike near a Gaza park that killed at least ten Palestinians.

Secretary of State John Kerry is urging both sides to agree to an immediate unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.
In an interview this morning, the leader of Hamas said there cannot be a ceasefire until Israel recognizes a Palestinian state.

Back at here at home some are sounding off on the ongoing conflict in the area.

The executive director at the Hillel Foundation, which is the UI Jewish Student Organization, as well as an Imam from a nearby mosque both say it's time to put an end to the conflict.

"The main conflict is very simple to describe and that is that we've got two national groups that are laying claim to the same piece of land, said Gerald Sorokin of the Hillel Foundation.

He said the conflict between Israel and Gaza is strictly political.

"They are extremists on both sides and there are Israelis who do not accept the legitimacy of the Palestinian national claims and they are Palestinians who do not accept the legitimacy of the Israeli or the Jewish national claim, he said.

He said it's a self-defeating status quo, one that makes it difficult to bring an end to the fighting.

"The only arrangement that makes any sense is two states that recognize each other that are prepared to live side by side, he said.

That's what folks at the Iowa City mosque would like to see as well.

"Both sides are hard headed. This is what I think. I believe that the smart person and the strong person is the one that solves a problem without going into violence, said Molhim Bilal, Imam at the Iowa City Mosque.

Although he hopes things will calm down he said peace might be hard to come by.

"Just because there's so much enmity between the two. Between the Arabs and between the Jews a long history of killing a long history of battle, he said.

Either way, he believes something should be done to bring an end to the ongoing suffering of civilians.

To date Palestinians report death toll has topped 1,000 and Israel reports death toll at 46.


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israel's military is urging residents in parts of the Gaza Strip to leave their homes, ahead of what appears to be a broadening of the three-week war. In phone messages, the Israelis warn, "What is coming will be worse."
   Israeli leaders have been mulling whether to expand the assault against Hamas in Gaza or respond to international calls for a truce. But Israel and Hamas are far apart on possible cease-fire terms.
   Speaking to Israelis on TV, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "We need to be ready for a prolonged campaign."
   Meanwhile, despite Israel's effort to destroy tunnels from Gaza, the Israelis say militants were able to enter Israel through one of those tunnels today. They say troops killed one of the militants.
   Also today, the Israeli military said a mortar attack on southern Israel had killed four soldiers. Five other Israeli soldiers also died today, but the details on those deaths weren't immediately released.
   Earlier, a strike on a Gaza park killed ten people -- including nine children. Israeli and Palestinian authorities traded blame over the attack.

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