Israel escalated its bombing campaign and began attacking homes of activists in Hamas over the weekend, and on Monday an Israeli missile strike on a media center killed a senior militant.
Meanwhile, Israel's Iron Dome reportedly intercepted 29 rockets Monday alone -- the defense system has intercepted hundreds of rockets since Operation "Pillar of Defense" began six days ago.
Egypt is leading the efforts to mediate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, but both sides are far apart in their demands.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said at a press conference Monday in Egypt that Palestinian weapons had caught Israel "off guard." "Whoever started the war must end it," Meshaal reportedly said.
An Israeli official said Israel hoped to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis and signaled Egypt was likely to play a key role in enforcing any truce. "We prefer the diplomatic solution if it's possible. If we see it's not going to bear fruit, we can escalate," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive diplomatic efforts underway.
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