Israel continued its air assault and ground attack in Gaza yesterday as both Hamas and the Israelis suffered additional casualties. Doctors worry about the humanitarian condition and deaths of so many Palestinians caught in the crossfire.
The U.N. Security Council seemed to be gridlocked and no cease-fire was in sight, But France, Turkey, Egypt the EU and others vowed to restart the peace process today.
France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy Seeks Peace in Gaza
Gaza Cease Fire? Israel Clarifies Tough Stand
Israel called up the reserves a few days ago. Last night, an Islamic leader called upon Allah.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ally of Israel, used exceptionally harsh words overnight on Sunday to describe Israel’s offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying Israel would be punished by Allah…..
But Israel shows no signs of letting up on Hama in Gaza.
But neither does Hamas, which continued rocket attacks into Israel.
Above: Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip early Monday.
“After all this overnight pounding that we’ve heard … continuing gun battles … the warning sirens sounded in the town nearby here,” CNN’s Nic Robertson reported Monday. “That was an indication that a rocket was being fired out by Hamas into Israel and the rocket landed on the hillside a little bit away from where we are …”
Israeli troops and tanks continued their offensive and Gaza was divided but not conquered.
Israel’s ground forces moved in after nightfall Saturday following hours of intense, fiery artillery shelling to clear the way, and Hamas warned that its fighters would turn Gaza into an Israeli “graveyard.”
John E. Carey
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Can He Regain Gaza?
Gaza: Pressure Grows on Hamas To Agree to A Cease Fire
The New York Times reported:
Even as President Nicolas Sarkozy of France readied a new quest for a cease-fire, Israeli forces took control of rocket-launching areas and surrounded Gaza City after slicing through the center of the beleaguered territory on Sunday. Israel Radio reported street fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas fighters in the streets of Gaza City early on Monday.
Despite the onslaught, Hamas militants continued to lob rockets into southern Israel, witnesses said, as Gaza residents, fearful of growing casualties, faced severe power shortages and other deprivations. The reported death toll of Palestinians passed 500 since the assault began, including 100 said to be civilians.
Read the rest:
The Los Angeles Times reports on the Gazan people:
Five civilians die when shells hit a market, while most residents stay indoors to avoid Israeli shelling. ‘Anyone who survives this wave, it will be like they were born again,’ said one man.
From The Jerusalem Post:
Speaking in Antalya following his Middle East tour, Erdogan said Israel was perpetrating “inhumane actions” which would “bring it to destroy itself.”
“Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents,” Erdogan said. His recent tour of the Middle East conspicuously skipped Israel despite the bilateral ties both countries enjoy.
Erdogan has over the past week visited Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as Turkey engaged in shuttle diplomacy with Arab countries in the search for a cease-fire in the Middle East.
From the JerusalemPost:
Turkey Could Push The Hamas case at UN
Turkey could bring the Palestinian faction Hamas’ conditions for ceasefire to the attention of the United Nations, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said late on Sunday, broadcaster CNN Turk report.
“As a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council, we could bring the conditions of Hamas for a ceasefire to the attention of the United Nations. Hamas officials have full confidence in Turkey,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.
He also criticized Israel for laying the groundwork for provocation without removing the embargo on Palestinians.
Earlier on Sunday, Erdogan slammed Israel’s Gaza operation, saying the disproportional use of force causes “humanitarian tragedy.”
“Israel creates a humanitarian tragedy with using disproportional force. This would cause problems for Israel as well,” Erdogan said in the southern province of Antalya, without specifying what the problems would be.
He said he would discuss the latest situation in Gaza in his meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Monday.
Erdogan had visited Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt after Israel launched air operation against Gaza in Dec. 27. He returned Turkey on Sunday as he ended the Middle East tour aimed at helping to reach a ceasefire in Gaza.
Tens of thousands of protestors demonstrated in central Istanbul on Sunday, burning Israeli flags and chanting slogans, after Israeli tanks and ground troops moved in Gaza Saturday.
From The Associated Press: