A plume of smoke rises over Gaza during an Israeli air strike, as seen from Sderot in Israel.
After six straight days of aerial attacks from Israel, the death toll in the Gaza Strip has reached 101, including 24 children. White House officials said President Obama — currently on a tour of Southeast Asia — had reached out to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to urge the Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, to refrain from launching rocket attacks into southern Israel. For its part, Israel said it was prepared to commence a ground invasion of Gaza, though officials in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they preferred using diplomatic means to end the fighting.
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