Saturday, December 27, 2008
See the BBC's 2:28 min. video clip, "Massive Israeli air raids on Gaza" here. Click here for a collection of photos of the carnage. Here are a few excerpts from the BBC text report:
Israeli [American-made] F-16 bombers have pounded key targets across the Gaza Strip, killing at least 225 people, local medics say.
Most of those killed were policemen in the Hamas militant movement, which controls Gaza, but women and children also died, the Gaza officials said.
About 700 others were wounded, as missiles struck security compounds and militant bases, the officials added.
Israeli PM Ehud Olmert said the operation "may take some time"- but he pledged to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
"It's not going to last a few days,'' he said in a televised statement, flanked by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
Israel said it was responding to an escalation in rocket attacks from Gaza and would bomb "as long as necessary".
They were the heaviest Israeli attacks on Gaza for decades. More air raids were launched as night fell.
Staff at the main hospital in Gaza say operating rooms are overflowing, it is running out of medicine, and there are not enough surgeons to cope.
The raids came days after a truce with Hamas expired.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said "there is a time for calm and a time for fighting, and now the time has come to fight". ...
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Hamas of having triggered the new bout of violence.
"The United States is deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Gaza," she said in a statement.
"We strongly condemn the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence there. The ceasefire must be restored immediately and fully respected." ...