Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad says an Israeli strike on a Gaza media center has killed one of its top militant leaders.

Israeli artillery shells attack a target in the Gaza Strip
Israeli artillery shells attack a target in the Gaza Strip (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Monday's strike in downtown Gaza City was part of a widening 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire.

It's the second strike on the building in two days. The Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, is located on the top floor.

Islamic Jihad has sent a text message to reporters saying that Ramez Harb was killed in the strike Monday. Harb is a leading figure in their militant wing, the Al Quds Brigades.

Israeli aircraft have struck several crowded areas in the Gaza Strip, driving up the Palestinian death toll to nearly 100 and devastating several homes belonging to one clan as Israel broadened its targets in the 6-day-old offensive.

Hamas fighters also have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel in the current round of fighting, including 75 on Monday, one that hit an empty school.

Attempts to broker cease-fire in Gaza

Israel and Hamas remain far apart in their demands, but both sides say they are open to a diplomatic solution.

Hamas, however, is taking a tough stance -- rejecting Israel's demands that the militant group stop its rocket fire. The group's leader says Israel must meet the demands of Hamas for a lifting of the blockade of Gaza.

The Turkish foreign minister and a delegation of Arab foreign ministers are expected in Gaza tomorrow as efforts continue to broker a cease-fire.

The mounting death toll in the Gaza conflict has the attention of the European Union. The EU foreign policy chief says the crisis can only be resolved with a long-term solution and that the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza must stop.

Los Angeles protesters clash at pro-Israel rally

Los Angeles police formed skirmish lines during a street clash between Palestinian supporters and a pro-Israel group staging a rally, but nobody was arrested.

KNX radio reports one man apparently broke his arm during a fight with a demonstrator during the Sunday afternoon event outside the Westwood federal building.

The rally attracted more than 1,000 pro-Israel supporters amid renewed fighting in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is retaliating for Hamas rocket attacks.

After the event began, a group of about 250 Palestinian supporters began demonstrating on the opposite side of Wilshire Boulevard.

It triggered a Los Angeles Police Department tactical alert that drew police officers, sheriff's deputies and the California Highway Patrol officers who formed skirmish lines until the demonstrators eventually left.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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