Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two-day cease-fire rejected by Israel

From Democracy Now!:

Gaza Bombing Continues as Israel Rejects Truce Proposal

Israel has rejected a French proposal for an emergency forty-eight-hour ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. There were brief hopes for a lull in the bombing after Israeli officials said they were seriously considering the move. But earlier today Israeli warplanes continued to pound areas across Gaza.

30 Palestinians Killed in Latest Attacks

A Palestinian medic was killed and two others wounded when an Israeli missile struck next to their ambulance in Gaza City. Several underground tunnels along the Gaza border with Egypt were also attacked. Israel maintains the tunnels are used to smuggle in weapons, but they’re also used to bring in basic supplies denied by the Israeli blockade. Overall, at least thirty Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks on Tuesday, including two sisters aged five and twelve. Nearly 400 Palestinians have been killed and at least 1,600 injured since Saturday. In Rafah, thousands of residents took shelter at a local UN school after their neighborhoods were attacked by Israeli missiles.

Rafah resident: “Missiles were fired at the municipality and around the municipality near the houses and made all the houses collapse. Most of the area is destroyed. There is complete destruction."

Palestinian rocket fire has meanwhile intensified on nearby Israeli towns. Four Israeli citizens, including two Arab Israelis, have been killed by rockets from the Gaza Strip since the Israeli assault began. The Bush administration continues to support Israel’s attack. On Tuesday, White House spokesperson Gordon Johndroe downplayed reports of growing Palestinian casualties.

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