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Tuesday, 6 January 2009

What if Israel Was the Victim?

Gaza’s offensive against Israel continued today, sharply escalating with a ground incursion that cut off the southern part of Israel from the north.

The Israeli death toll climbed past 400, at least 60 of whom were civilians, according to UN estimates. 4 Palestinian civilians have been killed as a result of Jewish settlers firing rockets into Gaza in response to the military operation led by Hamas.

Cloud bursts with flaming smoke trails were seen over Israeli cities as Hamas employed white phosphorus munitions. The use of such munitions as weapons targeting soldiers or civilians is prohibited by international law, but Hamas says it is only using the munitions legally to provide a smokescreen for its ground offensive.

There have been reports of Israelis with chemical burns from the phosphorus rounds entering hospitals, but the reports could not independently confirmed since Hamas has refused to allow any foreign journalists to enter Israel.

The United States led an effort at the United Nations to issue a resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities, but the effort was blocked by Russia. The Russian ambassador to the UN said, “We don’t want a one-sided cease-fire that would see Gaza end its operations only to allow Israel to continue firing rockets into Gaza. We are seeking a sustainable cease-fire.”

Russia has repeatedly reiterated its demand for Israel to recognize Gaza’s right to exist and renounce violence. Russia’s foreign minister said earlier this week, “Israel is responsible for ending the cease-fire. Gaza has the right to self-defense. No nation would sit by and just watch as rockets exploded in their towns, hitting homes and schools, without a response. No country would tolerate that.” More

'As I ran I saw three of my children. All dead'