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With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel's prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts. There is no end in sight to Israel's effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"I will end it when our goals are realized," he said. "And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet." Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.
Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel. One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.
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