Israel will continue to pummel Gaza with rockets after a 48-hour cease fire proposal was rejected by the security cabinet Wednesday, the New York Times reports.
“We cannot give them a respite to rearm and regroup” said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. “We need a real, sustainable solution, not a Band-Aid.” Olmert said Israel would continue to fire until Hamas stopped launching rockets.
Currently, the death toll stands at about 390 Palestinians and four Israelis.
Olmert told President Bush early Wednesday that Israel would continue to look for ways to help aid wounded and threatened Palestinian civilians in Gaza, the New York Times reports. Olmert has repeatedly told media that the civilians are not the target of the attacks.
He told Bush that Hamas operatives and militants are the sole target, and it is them who are endangering the lives of Palestinian civilians.
Aides close to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak say that a ground operation may be forthcoming. Several ground troops are on pins and needles, waiting for the go ahead.
According to the UN, several thousands in Gaza have been without power since Dec. 26, after Israel cut a fuel pipeline that helped power parts of Gaza. UN humanitarian efforts are currently under way.
Governments and officials all over the world are attempting to come up with any solution that will put a halt to this conflict. The Arab League, the European Union and the United States are currently exploring several options that would see both Hamas and Israel cease firing, not temporarily, but permanently.