Hamas wants an end to Israel's long blockade of Gaza and raids on the territory in any cease-fire that might put a stop to five days of weaponry plummeting from the sky, a top Palestinian official said Sunday.
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that has ruled Gaza since 2007, said an Israeli airstrike killed a family of 10 on Sunday. Israel, meanwhile, said Hamas had fired nearly 150 rockets into Israel in a single day, and that the strike was aimed at killing one of the leaders of the militant group's rocket corps -- but Israel was unsure whether he was among the dead.
It was the latest violence in what has become a daily nightmare for millions in the region, one that puts Gaza's 1.7 million residents and millions of Israelis in harm's way. But an Israeli special envoy was in Egypt for cease-fire talks late Sunday, the Egyptian government said, and a stream of Arab League, U.N. and European diplomats were darting in and out of the region on similar errands.
Nabil Sha'ath, a senior Palestinian negotiator, said Hamas is demanding an end to "the harassment and draconian siege of Gaza that prevents anything from coming in or going out, so that there will be a normal life for the people of Gaza." The territory has been under a crippling economic embargo since Hamas won control of the territory from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank.
But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he is in "continuing contact" with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and called for Palestinian unity during the Israeli offensive. Sha'ath, also a Fatah leader, said Hamas wants Israel to stop targeting the leadership of Palestinian factions and to expand the waters Palestinian fishermen are allowed to trawl from three miles offshore to 30.
Sha'ath said the Palestinian goal was to reach not only an end to the latest fighting but a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.
"The attempt is to reach a real stable situation. That's why they are asking for commitment on Israeli typical aggression and periodic incursions and constant shooting and firing at the fishermen in the sea," he said.
But rockets continued to fall on Israel on Sunday, and airstrikes continued in Gaza. Fresh sirens sounded Sunday in Tel Aviv, but the Israel Defense Forces reported that it had intercepted at least two rockets headed for the city with its "Iron Dome" missile-defense system. A rocket struck a car in the Israeli town of Ofakim, while another hit a woman's carport while she was inside her house in Ashkelon.
And in Gaza, Hamas-run al Aqsa television showed images of children's bodies being carried away from a house blown apart by an Israeli airstrike. They were among a family of 10 who died there, according to a Palestinian ambulance service.
On Twitter, the al Qassam Brigades -- Hamas' military wing -- called it a "massacre committed by Israeli occupation."
But Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, the IDF's chief spokeswoman, told CNN that Yehya Bayaa -- a "senior Hamas member" -- was targeted in the strike. The IDF identified Bayaa as one of the leaders of the Hamas rocket-launching unit.
"When I say a senior Hamas member, I mean members that have Israeli blood on their hands -- members of Hamas that planned either the abduction of soldiers or are very much involved in targeting Israelis," she told CNN.
Q & A: What is Hamas?
Leibovitch said the house was Bayaa's home and suspected command center and that the Israeli military was examining video of the strike to look for signs of secondary explosions -- an indication that there were explosives inside. But late Sunday, she said she did not know for sure whether Bayaa had been killed.
Israel also said Sunday that it was not to blame for the death of a Palestinian child last week -- a 4-year-old boy whose lifeless body was kissed by Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil during his visit to a Gaza hospital Friday.
CNN visited the child's home, which neighbors said had been bombed five hours previously. Neighbors and family members told CNN they heard an aircraft before the explosion.
But the Israeli military told CNN on Sunday it did not carry out any airstrikes at the time of the child's death. The IDF said had stopped its attacks for Kandil's visit, raising questions about what caused the fatal blast. One possibility could be the misfire of a Hamas rocket intended for Israel, since CNN's crew in Gaza said it saw two such rockets passing overhead -- apparently fired not far from where the boy lived.
Israel launched its offensive on Wednesday in response to persistent rocket attacks from militants in Gaza. Early Monday, the Gaza health ministry said 76 people have been killed in Gaza during the ongoing hostilities. It was not clear how many of the dead were combatants. Earlier, the territory's interior ministry said 20 children and eight women were among the dead.
More than 660 people were injured, the interior ministry said.
The IDF said one Israeli was wounded Sunday. Three Israelis had been killed and 69 wounded over the course of the conflict.