Israel continues its massive military operation against Palestine for three days running. Over 310 people have already been killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel ’s air strikes. Over 180 Hamas activists have been killed, spokesmen for the organization said. Over 1,000 people have been wounded – mostly gunmen, policemen, officials and Hamas activists, sources in Palestine say.
Over 40 tunnels, which Palestinian terrorists made to deliver weapons and ammunition to the Gaza Strip, have been destroyed in the military operation so far.
The governments of Turkey and Jordan, as well as the UNRWA and the Red Cross organizations will send 100 trucks of humanitarian cargoes to the Gaza Strip December 29.
Israel made at least 20 missile attacks against the Gaza Strip overnight. Israeli warplanes also bombed the Islamic University in Gaza, where Hamas was keeping Qassam rockets and explosives.
It seems that it is only a start. Israel prepares to continue the military actions despite numerous protests from the international community. A ground operation in the Gaza Strip may start in the next few days. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that her country had no choice. “We do what we have to do to protect our citizens,” Livni said.
The Gaza Strip is not going to surrender. Hamas is now prepared to launch over 200 missiles against Israel daily.
Israel is pulling tanks and infantry reinforcements close to Gaza in preparation for a possible attack on Hamas militants, Israel's Ynet web portal and the Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.
Israel's air force launched on Saturday a number of simultaneous airstrikes targeting the ruling radical Islamist movement Hamas's paramilitary units. The airstrikes, launched in response to rocket and mortar fire by Hamas militants against southern Israel, have reportedly killed more than 270 Palestinians, RIA Novosti reports.
Ynet referred to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying in an interview with British Sky News television that the Israeli ground forces would enter the Gaza Strip, if the move was deemed necessary by Jerusalem.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal called on West Bank residents to rise up against Israel in a new "intifada" but at the same time repeated that his organization was interested in renewing the ceasefire agreement with Israel.
He said that the ceasefire would be possible on the condition that Israel lift its siege of Gaza and open all crossings in and out of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli parliament (Knesset) will gather for an emergency meeting to discuss the actions of the Israeli Army in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert addressed Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik with a request to postpone the meeting. The speaker refused, and Olmert said that he would not attend the meeting at the time when actions were a lot more important than words.
Palestine ’s moderate administration fears that a third Intifada may begin as a result of the current conflict. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority Chairman, said that he had asked Hamas not to end the truce with Israel. “The truce was supposed to remain in force. We do not want the Gaza Strip to be destroyed,” he said.
US President George W. Bush prefers not to make any official statements regarding what has been happening in the Gaza Strip recently. It is only said that Bush watches the development of the situation closely. US President elect Barack Obama follows Bush’s example at this point. Experts say that the operation of the Israeli Army has minimized Obama’s chances to conclude a peaceful agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Flirtation with Turkey turned out to be disastrous for Russia, but as long as Russia is in the game, the stakes should be high