Muslims fire rockets into Northern Israel

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JERUSALEM — The United Nations suspended its food aid deliveries into Gaza on Thursday after one of its contract drivers was killed during an Israeli attack on a delivery convoy at a border crossing, the United Nations said.

The suspension by the United Nations came after rockets were fired from Lebanon on Thursday, landing in northern Israel and raising concerns they could represent a broadening of the conflict. However, both the Israeli and Lebanese governments played down their significance as international efforts to end the 13-day war in the Gaza Strip continued with the arrival of Israeli negotiators in Cairo.

In signs of mounting diplomatic pressure on Israel, the United Nations Security Council appeared close to a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire by both sides and could vote on the resolution as early as Thursday, according to Arab diplomats. The break-through was reached after a delegation of high-ranking Arab ministers overcame the reluctance of the United States, Britain and France in calling for the cease-fire, the diplomats said.

In Cairo, egyptian officials said the Israeli officials were meeting with the head of Egyptian military intelligence, Omar Suleiman, to explore a proposal devised by Egypt and France as what officials in Paris called a road map to a cease-fire. There was no immediate word on the outcome of the talks.

As Israel’s offensive in Gaza continued with tanks on the ground in the beleaguered coastal strip and bombardment from the air, Israel again ordered a temporary lull in the fighting on Thursday to give the 1.5 million population a three-hour opportunity to seek medical help and buy supplies.

A similar pause on Wednesday enabled rescue teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross to enter some areas for the first time since Israel’s ground offensive began last weekend after days of air-strikes. In one area, the Committee reported Thursday, its representatives discovered “shocking” scenes including four children next to their mother’s corpses. The children were too weak to stand on their own, the aid organization said.

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