On the diplomatic front, intensive efforts continue to try to reach a ceasefire agreement.
Hamas has told Egypt it will only agree to a year-long renewable ceasefire if Israel pulls out its forces within a week and immediately reopens border crossings. Senior Israeli politicians were meeting on Thursday night to decide on their response to a plan being proposed by Egypt. An Israeli defence official earlier held talks in Cairo with mediators who have already met Hamas. The U.S. Secretary of State has also reportedly told Israel that Washington could help prevent Hamas from rearming after a ceasefire. Israel has been demanding a halt of rocket attacks and an end to the smuggling of weapons into Gaza from Egypt. Meanwhile, Israeli police say two rockets struck the southern Israeli town of Beersheva today.