Israel’s attacks on Gaza‚ strengthened‚ Friday after bombs killed a top Hamas commander, African Free Press reports.‚ The attacks, now entering their seventh day, have resulted in the deaths of at least 420 and more than 2000 injuries. The UN has said that nearly 25 per cent of the dead are civilians.
As tanks and troops position themselves outside Gaza, it seems a ground attack is‚ imminent. Even more‚ imminent‚ after word got out that troops were allowing‚ foreigners‚ in Gaza to leave Friday.‚ If any‚ foreigners‚ were to die as a result of the attacks, it could cause an‚ international‚ conflict.
According to CNN, soldiers are waiting for the go ahead to launch a ground assault.
President Bush recently blamed Hamas, and only Hamas, for this conflict between the two. He cited Hamas’ renewal of rocket attacks into Israel last month as the cause of the recent rift.
“In response to these attacks on their people, the leaders of Israel have‚ launched military operations on Hamas positions in Gaza,” said Bush in a radio address to air Saturday, CNN reports. “As a part of their strategy, Hamas terrorists often hide within the civilian population, which puts innocent Palestinians at risk.”
Tonight is a quieter night than the past six, CNN reports that less rockets are being fired this evening. This however, is no sign of a slowdown.‚ The number of troops positioned outside Gaza makes it very unlikely that a ground assault will not be launched at some point, if the conflict persists.
In a poll released this New Year’s Eve, of the 1,000 Americans questioned, 44 per cent said Israel was right to take military action against Palestinians, while 41 per cent said Israel should have‚ attempted‚ a peaceful diplomatic solution. Fifteen per cent were undecided.