Israeli forces struck a series of targets throughout the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing 18 Palestinians, including five boys playing soccer near the town of Jabalya, as a new round of violence threatened to fuel stronger Israeli military action.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians streamed into Egypt from the Gaza Strip to buy fuel, food and other supplies Wednesday after masked gunmen used land mines to blast down sections of a seven-mile fence dividing the border town of Rafah.

Six weeks after Israeli and Palestinian leaders relaunched peace talks in Annapolis, Md., President Bush is scheduled to arrive in Israel Wednesday for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The first Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in seven years got off to a shaky start Wednesday after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas restarted the effort at a peace conference two weeks ago in Annapolis, Md.

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