Israeli killed in blast as Abbas arrives in Gaza for talks with leaders of factions
One Israeli was killed and six others were wounded when a suicide bomber hit Tuesday evening the Gush Katif Junction in the Gaza Strip, press reports said.
The blast occurred at around 7 P.M., near an Israeli outpost, in a structure where Palestinians undergo security checks. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
The blast came as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas summoned leaders of factions to cease-fire talks in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and said he is hopeful he can persuade them to halt attacks on Israel.
Abbas said in an interview that Israel must do its part by halting military operations. "I am going to Gaza with the hopes of reaching an agreement," Abbas said in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He arrived in Gaza later Tuesday.
Abbas met Tuesday with David Pearce, the U.S. consul-general in Jerusalem, and said he is serious about dealing with the armed groups, but needs time to reach an agreement, according to a top Palestinian official. According to the AP, Abbas asked for the United States to put pressure on Israel to give him some time, the official said.