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Mideast talks fears as Olmert talks of "war"

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Mideast talks fears as Olmert talks of "war"


Against the backdrop of daily attacks and even talk of war the Israeli-Palestinian peace process appears on the verge of collapse. There has been no respite in the latest upsurge of violence. At least one Hamas militant has been killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza this morning.

Elsewhere, a member of the Fatah group allied to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank. Abbas is leading the current talks with Israel but has warned they will be suspended if the bloodshed continues.

Israel has now completely closed Gaza from where Hamas militants have been firing scores of rockets into its territory in recent days. Officials say even humanitarian aid is no longer getting into the Strip.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has vowed to wage “war’‘ against the militants who launch missiles at Israel. But he gave no indication that he might order a large-scale ground operation in Gaza.

No one has yet been killed in the daily rocket salvos but they have caused damage to buildings and brought terror to the people of southern Israel.

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