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Fury over Gaza offensive

GAZA CITY: Defiant Palestinians yesterday vowed to continue their UN bid as Arab fury mounted over escalating Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

President Mahmoud Abbas said the offensive, which has killed 28 so far, won't deter Palestinians from seeking observer status at the UN later this month.

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi warned Israel will have to pay a heavy price for its "blatant aggression against humanity" as thousands of his countrymen staged rallies against the Israeli strikes.

Israeli ministers have, meanwhile, approved the call-up of up to 75,000 reservists after Palestinians nearly hit Jerusalem with a rocket for the first time in decades and fired at Tel Aviv for a second day.

The rocket attacks came just hours after Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil visited the enclave and said Cairo was prepared to mediate.

Israel's armed forces also announced that a highway leading to the Gaza Strip and two roads bordering the enclave would be off-limits to civilian traffic until further notice. Tanks and self-propelled guns were seen near the border area.

As air raids continued, UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for restraint, expressing alarm at the escalating crisis.

Arab foreign ministers will meet today at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo to discuss the Israeli attack.



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