JERUSALEM - Israel is continuing a bloody offensive in the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. About 350 Palestinians have been killed, mostly Hamas militants, but also about 60 civilians. Three Israelis have been killed in rocket attacks.
Ambulances raced through Gaza, as Israel launched a fourth day of air strikes on Hamas targets. They included the Foreign Ministry, the Treasury, a sports center, two training camps and the home of a senior commander.
Hamas military capabilities have been hit hard, but the group is still packing a punch. Some 30 rockets have crashed into Israel in the past 24 hours including direct hits on two houses and a bus stop.
In Gaza, the Palestinian death toll is mounting.
“Those who decided to bombard a target in Gaza, claiming that it’s a Hamas target it has been surrounded by houses, and by inhabitants, and by schools,” Younis said. “And many, many civilians have already been killed or injured out of this.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields.
“We are trying to make all the efforts in order to target only terrorists and Hamas headquarters and places, but unfortunately in a war, like any war, sometimes also civilians pay the price,” Livni said.
Dozens of Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers have massed on the Gaza border, poised for a possible ground assault. Israel is reluctant to send in ground forces because Hamas is dug in in bunkers and tunnels.
Israel’s defense minister says it is war and all options are on the table. Hamas warns that if there is a ground assault, Gaza will become a graveyard for Israeli troops.
Source: VOA News