Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On fourth day of Gaza battle, no end in sight

Israel launched air strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza for a fourth consecutive day on Tuesday as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called the bombardment "the first of several stages," suggesting that the conflict was far from resolution.

Israeli aircraft bombed a government compound, buildings linked to the Islamic University and the home of a top Hamas commander on Tuesday in a continued onslaught that left Gaza without electric power, according residents of the beleaguered enclave.

Gaza residents said Israeli warships in increasing numbers were visible from the enclave's Mediterranean shoreline, while Israeli tanks and troops massed on its land border. But despite the encirclement, Hamas militants remained defiant, launching 10 rockets into southern Israel on Tuesday. One hit an apartment house in the town of Sderot, injuring one person, witnesses said.

So far, more than 350 Palestinians - about 60 of them civilians - have been killed, according to the United Nations. Four Israelis - three civilians and a soldier - have died.

Israeli says its offensive, which began Saturday, is designed to neutralize the threat posed to southern Israel by Hamas rockets. As the air strikes continued Tuesday, Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit told Israel Radio: "There is no room for a cease-fire."

Here is the link for the rest of the story: Gaza

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