No new ceasefire for Israel but talk of a unilateral Gaza retreat

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Israeli forces continued to pound Gaza on Saturday, killing at least 55 Palestinians according to local sources who say mosques, homes and the Islamic University were hit in recent hours.

But as Israel suffered more Hamas rocket attacks, there are reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government could be winding down the offensive, with leaders rejecting ceasefire talks and instead considering a unilateral retreat.

In just two days, Israeli forces are set to have finished destroying all the tunnels used by Hamas for cross-border attacks according to Israeli media. Displaced people from northern Gaza have already been told they can return home.

In Khan Younis in the south, a large Israeli shell lies unexploded on the street.

“It is two tonnes,” said local resident Um Nabil Zidan.

“They are firing on houses. Thank God we are a people without weapons. We’re terrorists? They’re terrorists. Who is the terrorist – the one without weapons or the one firing rockets at people while they are sleeping at half past one in the morning and then at 2am so they have to run out into the street?”

As Palestinians mourn their losses, there is no news on the whereabouts of a missing Israeli soldier or whether he is still alive.

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