Nov 21 2012

Ceasefire Talks on Gaza Fail Before They Start

NOTE: Hours after our story this morning, a ceasefire was announced between Israel and Hamas. It remains to be seen if the ceasefire will hold. A bomb exploded aboard a bus in Tel Aviv this morning, injuring twenty seven Israelis. There were no fatalities. A group calling itself the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command has taken responsibility. The bombing came after yet another night of Israeli bombing raids in the Gaza Strip, which targeted government ministries, media offices, and homes, taking the latest Palestinian death toll to at least 130, nearly 30 of whom were children.

The continued violence comes at the same time as a US and Egypt-brokered attempted ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has failed. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been traveling to and from Israel, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ramallah, meeting with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, and Egypt, meeting with Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi.

Overnight, Israeli planes dropped leaflets over Gaza warning residents to vacate parts of the area to avoid the bombs, sending about 10,000 Palestinians to seek shelter in schools run by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency or UNRWA. Israeli Defense Forces have alleged, using social media, that the UN agency has been using its schools as bases for Palestinian militants to launch rockets into Israel. UNRWA has strongly denounced the allegations. The Shejaya Elementary Co-ed School in Gaza has sustained severe damage from Israeli attacks during the current campaign.

GUEST: Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, former chair of the Free Gaza Movement, and currently working with Palestinian Youth Activists, joining us live from Ramallah

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