Death Toll Rises Above 400 in Gaza, Livni Says No Humanitarian Crisis

1 January 2009

The Israeli military has continued its onslaught in the Gaza Strip, firing missiles throughout the Strip for the 6th day. Bombings have been focused particularly on the northern cities and refugee camps of Beit Hanoun and Jabaliya, and the southern area of Rafah, along the border with Egypt. The northern assault has led to speculation that a ground invasion, which would come from that direction, is imminent. Meanwhile, children, women, and other civilians have been hardest hit, as entire apartment buildings are flattened by the Israeli bombardment. The port in Gaza City was also fired upon for a second time, and is now almost completely demolished.

During the ongoing assault, Tzipi Linvi head of the ruling party in Israel, went to France after a recommendation that Israel agree to a 48 hour ceasefire to allow in desperately needed supplies for the civilian supplies. Livni dismissed the idea out of hand, even as several UN agencies were announcing that Gaza was facing humanitarian “catastrophe”, saying that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. She pointed to the opening of Gaza crossings yesterday for a few trucks of food to be allowed in. Yet doctors and other officials have been issuing increasingly desperate calls for supplies, saying they have been having to do surgeries without basic supplies such as surgical gloves.

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