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.

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.

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