Israeli offensive continues for 16th day, 38 killed on Sunday
www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-12 04:44:01   Print

Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts

People check a burned car following an Israeli air strike at the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, near the border with Egypt. Israel began pouring reservists into heavy clashes across the Gaza Strip on Sunday. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    GAZA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli army continued military air and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip on Sunday for the 16th successive day, killing 38 Palestinians, and wounding 80 others, medics and witnesses said.

    Gaza emergency chief Mo'aweya Hassanein told reporters that 38 Palestinians were killed on Sunday during a series of airstrikes and tanks shelling on dozens of targets, including houses allover the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians mourn over the victims killed by Israeli attacks in front of the morgue at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Jan. 11, 2009. The Israeli army continued its air and ground strikes on different targets in the Gaza Strip from midnight to Sunday morning, killing 24 Palestinians, local medical sources and witnesses said. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)

Palestinians mourn over the victims killed by Israeli attacks in front of the morgue at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Jan. 11, 2009. The Israeli army continued its air and ground strikes on different targets in the Gaza Strip from midnight to Sunday morning, killing 24 Palestinians, local medical sources and witnesses said. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)
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    He said that five Palestinians were killed in the most recent tank shellings on Sunday night on two houses in the Sheja'eya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, and on Jabalia town in northern Gaza Strip, adding all were civilians.

    Local Radio stations quoted witnesses as saying that earlier on Sunday evening, Israeli warplanes struck the Hamas-run ministry of culture in the center of Gaza City, and a 4-story house was also destroyed by an air-to-ground missile.

    The radios, which are the only means of communication among the population, reported that Israeli airstrikes didn't stop strikes on the Gaza Strip during the daily three-hour humanitarian cessation.

The Israeli army continued military air and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip on Sunday for the 16th successive day, killing 38 Palestinians, and wounding 80 others, medics and witnesses said.

Smoke rises during Israel's offensive in the northern Gaza Strip in the late afternoon January 11, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    The Popular Front to Liberate Palestine (PFLP) Radio station reported that the incident that made the 16th day of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip significant, was the ground incursion into the southwestern neighborhoods of Tal el-Hawa and Sheik Ejllin.

    Witnesses said that several Israeli army tanks and armored vehicles rolled about three kilometers into the two neighborhood, adding that the area witnesses a fierce and violent confrontations between Israeli soldiers and Gaza militants.

    Hassanein said that at least 12 Palestinians were killed during the few-hour ground operation into the two areas of Gaza City. Witnesses said that 12 militants and two civilians were killed, and dozens were injured.

    The witnesses said that one of the two civilians were killed in Tal el-Hawa neighborhood was a two-year old child and the other was 21 years old.

    The PFLP Radio station reported that as the Israeli ground forces were attacking southwestern Gaza City, Israeli warplanes and tanks intensified strikes and shelling allover the entire Gaza Strip.

Fire and smoke billow following an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah near the border with Egypt. Israel began pouring reservists into heavy clashes across the Gaza Strip on Sunday.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    From overnight till Sunday morning, at least 12 were killed in separate airstrikes and tank shellings in northern Gaza Strip, eastern Gaza City and the east Khan Younis in the southern Strip, said local witnesses. 

    Israeli aircraft bombed over 60 Hamas targets throughout Gaza Strip overnight, including the house of Ahmed Ja'abri, the top commander of the Hamas armed wing. Ja'abri has been evacuated earlier and is believed to be hiding together with other Hamas leader.

    Meanwhile, several Israeli tanks rode into densely-populated area of southern Gaza City on the beach of the Strip. Heavy clashes took place between Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants. Witnesses said after the confrontation, the Israeli tanks retreated back.

    Hassanein gave an updated figure of the casualties of the Palestinians since the beginning of the Israeli operation called "Cast Lead" that started in Dec. 27, saying that 901 people were killed, and 3,695 wounded. 

Report: Egypt-Hamas talks realize "positive outcome"

    CAIRO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The talks between Egyptian mediators and representatives of Hamas on a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip have reached "positive outcome," the Egyptian MENA news agency reported on Sunday.

    The two sides have agreed that the Israeli offensive against the Palestinian enclave should be stopped as soon as possible, MENA quoted an Egyptian official source as saying on condition of anonymity. Full story

Israeli army begins sending reservists into Gaza

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday has begun sending its reservists into the Gaza Strip, signaling an expansion of the IDF ground incursion in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

    An IDF spokesman told Xinhua some reservists have already entered Gaza and others will go afterwards. He declined to say how many reservists will go into the Strip. Full story

Exiled Hamas leader says to consider truce after Israel stops offensive

    DAMASCUS, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Exiled Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshaal said on Saturday his group would consider a truce after Israel stopped its offensive against the Gaza Strip and lift blockade on the territory.

    Meshaal made the remarks in a televised statement in Damascus, demanding Israel to end its aggression, pull out its troops, open the crossing points first. Full story

Bush: cessation of Hamas rocket firing, arms smuggling key to Gaza cease-fire

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President George W. Bush has said that a lasting cease-fire in the Gaza Strip requires Palestinian militants to first stop rocket firing and arms smuggling, the White House said on Saturday.

    "President Bush emphasized the importance of bringing an end to rocket-fire against Israel and preventing arms smuggling into Gazaas the basis for a durable cease-fire," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe in a statement.Full story

Abbas says Israel must accept Egyptian plan on Gaza truce

    CAIRO, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday Israel must accept an Egyptian plan to put an end to the conflict in the Palestinian territory of Gaza Strip.

    Abbas made his call at a press conference following talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday morning, saying Israel must accept the Egyptian proposal or "face the responsibility over the conflict." Full story

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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