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Israel Halts Planned Ground Offensive of Gaza

Israel has reportedly halted its threatened ground offensive of Gaza as top diplomats flew in to join Egyptian-led truce talks in Cairo

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Israel has reportedly halted its threatened ground offensive of Gaza as top diplomats flew in to join Egyptian-led truce talks in Cairo.

The move came after UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged both Israel and Gaza militants to halt their fire "immediately" during talks in Cairo aimed at ending nearly a week of cross-border violence, the Australian Associated Press reported.

President Barack Obama also dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from Cambodia to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, as well as Palestinian authorities

A Palestinian source said she would visit Ramallah in the West Bank on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Israeli officials told the BBC that that any planned ground invasion of Gaza had been put on hold while the cease-fire continued.

Netanyahu had even telephoned Obama to discuss the matter after Israeli ministers had met late into the night to discuss Egyptian truce proposal.

"Israel wants talks to succeed but we're prepared to go into Gaza," the spokesman told the BBC.

Israel is reportedly looking for a 24- to 48-hour truce, with Tuesday's cease-fire talks "expected to be decisive," Haaretz newspaper wrote.

"It's now a 50-50 between a cease-fire and expanding the operation," a senior Israeli official told the paper.

"We would prefer a diplomatic solution but, if we have no choice, we'll go into Gaza. There is no other way."

Monday night was the first in six days of Israeli attacks that no Palestinian fatalities were recorded,

However, according to Agence France-rocket fire, six Palestinians were killed Tuesday, raising the Palestinian toll to 116.

AFP reported that more than 920 people had been injured in the bombing campaign—retaliation, Israel said, to continues rocket fire into Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

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