Israel resumes attacks in Gaza, Rice asks for war crimes investigations

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Friday, January 30, 2009

An attack by Israeli warplanes injured 9 people today, including seven school children in what witnesses say was an attack on a member of Hamas who was riding on a motorcycle nearby. The raid came several hours after Israel bombed a metal foundry in Rafah that Israel claims was producing rockets.

One of many UN installations shelled by Israeli tanks during Israel's attacks in Gaza
Image: ISM palestine.

These attacks come after a rocket was fired at Israel from inside Gaza. Another rocket was fired into Israel after the attacks. An armed faction of the Palestinian group Fatah claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks.

The rockets were fired after Israel carried out raids on Gaza tunnels which Israelis say smuggle weapons into Gaza. Gazans maintain that the tunnels are their only source of food and water because of crippling economic blockades enforced by Israel. The attack on the tunnels was carried out after a roadside bomb killed one Israeli soldier and wounded three others.

Both Hamas and Israel have claimed separate ceasefires after one of the bloodiest strings of violence in the history of Gaza that left 1,400 Palestinians dead including as many as 400 children and 100 women. 12 Israeli soldiers and 3 civilians were also killed during the violence that began on December 27th, and ended just two days before the inauguration of President Obama on January 18th when Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire.

Sources indicate that Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is calling a meeting of security advisors to discuss how to respond to rocket fire stemming from Gaza.

What is your stance on the UN's desire for a war crimes investigation into Israel's actions in Gaza?

Today the newly appointed U.S ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said she supported the UN general assembly's insistence that Israel must investigate possible war crimes committed in Gaza. War crimes that members of the UN have charged Israel with include the bombing of multiple UN schools killing refugees, and the use of white phosphorus in densely populated civilian areas.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has said that there will also be a separate UN investigation into the attacks on UN schools which killed scores of refugees that had been taking shelter there.