Palestinian deaths reach 100, both sides say they are ready for diplomatic solution

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A senior Palestinian militant is now among 100 Palestinians killed in the six days of Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Palestinian officials say half of those victims were civilians.

Meanwhile, Hamas fighters have launched more than 1,000 rockets into Israel, including 95 today. One of them hit an empty school in a coastal city. Police say Israel's rocket-defense system intercepted 29 of those rockets. Three Israelis have died from Palestinian rocket fire.

Israel has expanded its bombing campaign, attacking homes of activists in Hamas over the weekend and then launching a missile strike today on a media center in Gaza City. Islamic Jihad says one of its top militants was killed there.

Egypt is leading efforts to mediate a cease-fire. Both Israel and Hamas say they are open to a diplomatic solution, and that they are prepared for further escalation if those efforts fail.

An Israeli official says his side doesn't want a "quick fix" that will bring renewed fighting months from now. He says Israel wants "international guarantees" that Hamas won't use Egypt's Sinai peninsula for militant activity, and that it won't re-arm.

Hamas says Israel must meet its demands for a lifting of the blockade of Gaza.

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200-r-08-(Sound of clashes at West Bank checkpoint, as Palestinian protesters hurl stones at Israeli soldiers, who respond with tear gas)--Sound of clashes at a West Bank checkpoint as Palestinian protesters hurled stones at Israeli soldiers and the soldiers fired tear gas. (19 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *200 (11/19/12)>> 00:08

201-r-14-(Sound of explosions, at Gaza media center)--Sound of explosions as an Israeli airstrike hit a Gaza media center, killing one of Islamic Jihad's top militant leaders. (19 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *201 (11/19/12)>> 00:14

191-c-12-(Aron Heller, AP correspondent)-"Israelis got him"-AP correspondent Aron Heller reports that an Israeli airstrike on a high-rise building housing a number of media groups killed a senior Palestinian militant leader. (19 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *191 (11/19/12)>> 00:12 "Israelis got him"

192-c-11-(Aron Heller, AP correspondent)-"that is necessary"-AP correspondent Aron Heller reports that the people of Israel, Gaza and much of the Middle East are keeping close watch on the cease-fire effort being brokered by Egypt. (19 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *192 (11/19/12)>> 00:11 "that is necessary"

GRAPHICSBANK: Palestinian man kissing hand of a dead relative and man carrying the body of a child over textured Israel and Palestine flag, lettering "ISRAEL-GAZA CONFLICT", finished graphic (19 Nov 2012)

APPHOTO AXLP101: Rockets launched by Palestinian militants towards Israel make their way from the central Gaza Strip, seen from the Israel Gaza border, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip and killed a senior militant with a missile strike on a media center Monday, driving up the Palestinian death toll to 96, as Israel broadened its targets in the 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) (19 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO AXLP101 (11/19/12)>>

APPHOTO DV119: Palestinian policeman kisses Rushdi Tamimi who died of his injuries sustained two days ago during clashes with Israeli security forces in Nabi Saleh. West Bank, in a Ramallah hospital, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi) (19 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO DV119 (11/19/12)>>

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