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Israel gives Gazans New Year surprise
Press TV, Iran, 27 Dec 2008
Bodies lie outside the Hamas police headquarters following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. At least 180 Gazans have been killed and 800 others have been wounded. World silence on the collective punishment of the native people of Gaza has prompted a devastating Israeli attack on the coastal strip. After the Egypt-mediated truce between Israel and Hamas expired on Tuesday, the two sides clashed along the border fence in northern Gaza. Three Palestinians were killed during the attacks. Hamas responded by firing mortar shells and rockets into the Israeli occupied territories. Hamas commented that it was attempting “to avenge the killing of the three” members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. The six Qassam rockets fired from Gaza into western Negev caused no casualties and no property damage, Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on the result of the Hamas retaliation.
The first major air strike after the termination of the cease-fire came on Saturday with Israeli warplanes carrying out massive attacks on Hamas security compounds inside the Gaza Strip, killing at least 180 people and wounding 800 others. Israeli F16 bombers and apache helicopters carried out at least 30 simultaneous raids on at least 30 separate targets in Gaza City. Footage from Gaza showed smoke from one of the strikes rising on the skyline; witnesses have reported hearing at least 15 massive explosions. Sirens wailed through the streets, and women frantically looked for their children while relatives mourned their loved ones. TV footage showed bodies of more than a dozen security men lying on the ground in one area. One of the men was uttering the Muslim declaration of faith (Shahadatain) as his last words. Hamas radio reported that police chief Tawfiq Jabber was among the dead.
As Israeli tanks reportedly move closer to the impoverished region, Tel Aviv officials say the massive bombardment has just started. Military spokesman Avi Benayahu told army radio on Saturday that strikes on the Hamas-run territory are ‘just beginning’:
This is only just the beginning of an operation launched after a security cabinet decision. It could take time. We have not fixed a timeline and we will act according to the situation on the ground.
This is not the first time Israel mars world celebrations with its intensification of collective punishment on the people of Gaza.