As it happened: Gaza-Israel violence 21 November

Key points

  • A ceasefire agreement came into force at 1900 GMT
  • Rocket fire continued from both sides up until the agreement but no major breaches have been reported so far
  • Earlier, a blast on a bus in Tel Aviv injured at least 15 people; it is not clear who carried out the attack
  • At least 11 Palestinians were been killed in fresh Israeli airstrikes today
  • All times GMT

Live text


  • Caroline Anning 

Last updated 21 November 2012


Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. International efforts to finalise a truce in Gaza are being stepped up after a night of heavy Israeli air strikes and sporadic Hamas rocket attacks. Stay with us for the latest updates, incorporating reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world, which you can send via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.


The Israel Defense Forces say that overnight, they targeted "dozens of terror infrastructure sites throughout the Gaza Strip". The targets included the Ministry of Internal Security which the IDF says "served as one of the main command and control centers for the Hamas terror organization".


Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor

There should be no surprise that Israel has kept up its air strikes in Gaza despite the talks going on to achieve a truce. Israel has a twin track policy of doing both... Both sides have a stake in trying to get a truce going - they have made their points and if they continue with this things will get worse... But people absolutely don't know what is going to happen - it is the type of situation where you can't predict what is going to happen even an hour from now.


Jon Donnison, BBC News, Gaza

More than 20 Palestinians were killed yesterday across Gaza including at least 3 children. There were more casualties here overnight. In Israel, one soldier and one civilian were killed yesterday. Gaza's streets this morning are again empty. People are trying to protect themselves at home and following the news on televsion. They're still waiting for something positive and concrete from Cairo.


This is a picture of the destroyed compound of the internal security ministry in Gaza that the IDF said (0721) it hit overnight.

A general view shows the destroyed compound of the internal security ministry in Gaza City after it was targeted by Israeli air strike overnight


As in virtually every modern conflict, there is intense debate on the legality of the actions of the two sides involved here. Guglielmo Verdirame, from the Department of War Studies at King's College London, gives his views of the the legal positions of Israel and Hamas to the BBC News website.


Paul Danahar, BBC News, Gaza

tweets: I don't know what huge building in front of me was. Now it's impossible to tell. It's just a mass of smoking concrete #Gaza


Haaretz reports that a short time ago, a rocket barrage was fired towards Ashkelon and the Eshkol Regional Council. Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted three out of the five rockets fired toward Ashkelon and the Eshkol missiles fell in open ground, Haaretz says.


Israeli armoured personnel carriers wait in a staging area on the Gaza border, as talks continue to try to bring about a ceasefire.

Armoured personnel carriers wait in a staging area