Sunday, 2 March 2008

Gaza Killings

Dozens die in Israel-Gaza clashes

There is no sign the fighting is abating.

Israeli forces have killed at least 35 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in one of the deadliest days of fighting since troops withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
Medical staff said at least seven were children, and up to 16 were militants. Israel said militants formed the majority of those killed.
Five Israeli troops were lightly injured in clashes with gunmen.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas described the Israeli raids as "more than a holocaust".
Mr Abbas was apparently alluding to controversial remarks made on Friday by Israel's Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai who said Palestinians risked a "shoah" - the Hebrew word for a big disaster as well as for the Nazi Holocaust.
Mr Vilnai's colleagues insisted he had not meant "genocide".
At least 35 Palestinians killed
Ashkelon activates warning system after rocket hits
Four Palestinian children and seven militants killed
Six-month-old Palestinian boy and six militants killed
Israeli civilian killed in Sderot

In pictures: Gaza violence
But Mr Abbas told reporters in the West Bank town of Ramallah: "It's very regrettable that what is happening is more than a holocaust. We tell the world to see with its own eyes and judge for itself what is happening."
Hamas's exiled leader Khaled Meshaal went further.
"Israeli actions in Gaza since Wednesday is the real Holocaust," he said in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
He said Israel was "exaggerating the Holocaust and using it to blackmail the world".
Civilian deaths
Israel has said it may launch a full-scale attack on Gaza in response to militant rocket attacks.
The BBC's Katya Adler in Jerusalem says Israel's leaders have been under pressure from some quarters to launch a ground invasion.
However, a recent opinion poll has indicated a majority of Israelis favour a truce with the Islamist movement Hamas, which controls Gaza.
Gaza's citizens were kept awake for another night by the sounds of Israeli military aircraft and missile strikes.
On one occasion, a house east of the Jabaliya refugee camp was struck - two children, a brother and sister, were killed.

Later, a 15-year-old girl and her 16-year-old sister were also killed.
In another attack, a mother was killed as she was preparing breakfast for her children, medical workers said.
"We are in the middle of a total war. We hear the rockets and the explosions everywhere... we cannot leave our homes," a Jabaliya resident, Abu Alaa, told the AFP news agency.
"They're shooting at everything that moves."
There was also fighting in and around the camp between Israeli troops backed by tanks and Palestinian militants equipped with crude rockets and mortars.
Israel says its aim is to stop Palestinian militants firing rockets across the border.
But several more were launched in recent hours, three hitting the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon and causing light injuries to four people.
On Wednesday a rocket fired by Hamas militants killed an Israeli student in the southern town of Sderot, the first such death in nine months.
Palestinian militant leaders say they are responding to Israeli attacks.
More than 65 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed in the violence since Wednesday

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