Israeli aircraft bombed a house in the Gaza Strip on Thursday in the first such strike in more than a month, the Israeli army and witnesses said. No casualties were reported in the strike in the Maghazi refugee camp in the centre of the coastal territory, the witnesses said. An Israeli occupation army spokesoman confirmed it had carried out a raid.
Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. envoy George Mitchell on Thursday that his government would condition talks over Palestinian statehood on the Palestinians first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. "Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples," a senior official in Netanyahu's office quoted the new prime minister as telling Mitchell, U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East.
Palestinian sources said Wednesday that they intend to present clear demands to Israel through the U.S. envoy as preconditions for resuming final status talks with Israel. In an interview with the daily Al-Ayyam published by the Palestinian Authority, the sources were quoted as saying that PA President Mahmoud Abbas will ask Mitchell to press Israel to recognize the principle of two states for two nations.
Moreover, the Palestinians would like Israel to agree to talk about all aspects of a final settlement that will ultimately result in the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.