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Egypt, UN urge ceasefire as Israel, Palestinian militants battle


By Aaron Boxer and Dov Lieber

JERUSALEM — The United Nations and Egypt are pressuring Israel and militants in Gaza to agree to an immediate ceasefire as the two sides exchanged fire for a second straight day, sparking fears a wider conflict that would aggravate civil woes in the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

The Israeli military again carried out airstrikes on Saturday targeting what it said were Palestinian Islamic Jihad members and sites in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 15 people, including a senior militant commander and a 5-year-old girl. years, since Friday. At the same time, Palestinian militants launched hundreds of rockets into the south and center of the country, setting off anti-aircraft sirens and sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters.

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