Israel has rejected a call by the European Union for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni does not want international observers to be stationed in the region once hostilities have ended. However, Israel has asked for European support to find the tunnels used by Palestinians to smuggle weapons into the area. Middle East envoy Tony Blair and French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian envoy Alexander Saltanov are also trying to use diplomacy to bring an end to the violence in the region.
Meanwhile the fighting continues. Israeli troops have entered the outskirts of Gaza City itself. They were supported by tank and artillery fire, as well as shelling by navy gunboats. Tanks have cut off Gaza City and the north from the rest of the Gaza Strip to prevent Hamas bringing in arms supplies from the south.
The number of Palestinians killed since the Israeli offensive began a week and a half ago now stands at 530. Since the start of the ground offensive on Saturday, four Israeli soldiers have been killed.
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