Heavy fighting continues in the Gaza Strip

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Heavy fighting continued overnight in the Gaza Strip as Israeli warplanes and helicopters bombed targets and Israeli Defense Forces fought with Hamas militants in Palestine. Several areas of black and white smoke could be seen as it covered the sky.

Yesterday, Ehud Olmert the Israeli Prime Minister said that Hamas will face an "iron fist" if they do not agree to Israel's terms of a cease fire and stop fighting.

"Anything else will be met with the Israeli people's iron fist. We will continue to strike with full strength, with full force until there is quiet and rearmament stops," said Olmert to reporters while standing within the zone where Hamas rockets are capable of striking. Throughout the night on a live video feed courtesy of the Palestinian news agency Ramattan, bombs were dropped and explosions could be seen and heard rocking the Strip.

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas responded in a videotaped message aired on local news agencies in Gaza saying, that he would work to get a ceasefire to try and get the borders between Egypt and Palestine, but also that "Gaza will not break, our victory over the Zionists is near. We confirm our intention to continue to work to stop the terrorists' war against our people, end the siege completely."

The war entered its 17 day and as of 7:31 a.m. (EET) in Gaza, bombs could still be heard going off around the Strip. Sporadic machine gun fire can also be heard. At approximately 8:05 a.m in Palestine, in a sudden halt to the large scale airstrikes that were occurring regularly overnight, the daily cease fire began in preparation to allow aid into Gaza. Relief trucks could be seen waiting at the Israel-Gaza border, awaiting orders to enter the Strip.

The death toll from the war passed 900 with thousands more injured. Because of the large number of casualties, the United Nation Human Rights Council has launched an investigation into possible war crimes. The council passed a resolution which condemned the Israeli operation and occupation of Gaza calling it a "massive violations of human rights."


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