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Ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza; 225 killed over 700 wounded, Israel prepares

Saed Banora | 27.12.2008 21:38 | Palestine | Terror War | World

As instructed by its political leadership, the Israeli army continued its military offensive against the Gaza Strip and shelled further targets raising the number of deaths among the residents to 225, and at least 700 residents were wounded, dozens seriously.

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera News Satellite news Agency said that the simultaneous and ongoing Israeli strikes also targeted a mosque, the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, and dozens of civilian homes and facilities.

At least 40 security centers were simultaneously hit; some centers were repeatedly hit which increased the number of casualties as the residents and medics rushed to evacuate the wounded and the casualties before the Israeli force struck the same targets again

AL Shifa hospital in Gaza, the main hospital in central Gaza, is overloaded with killed and wounded residents.

Dr. Hasan Khalaf, head of the hospital, said that the hospital had to use some ordinary rooms as primitive intensive care units due to the large number of injuries.

Dr. Khalaf added that dozens of families were hit, members of the same family killed and wounded after the army shelled their homes.

Dozens of children were also wounded as the shelling was carried out as school children were heading back home from school.

In the west Bank thousands of residents marched in the streets calling for unity and demanding Arab countries to interfere and calling for ending talks with Israel.

President Mahmoud Abbas contacted several Arab leaders asking them to intervene immediately and stop the Israeli assaults.

Also in the West Bank, the army violently attacked hundreds of protesters in villages and towns in east Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron and several other Palestinian areas.

Arab leaders and Arab residents of Israel also took off to the streets protesting against the ongoing Israeli offensives in the Gaza Strip.

Arab member of Knesset, Jamal Zahalka, participated in a protest in Nazareth and called for indicting the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, for war crimes against the Palestinian people.

Mohammad Nazzal, one of Hamas political leaders in Damascus, said that Hamas and all resistance factions are ready to defend the residents of the Gaza Strip, and added that the Israeli crimes in Gaza require a massive response from the resistance in retaliation to the “massacres in Gaza”.

Nazzal demanded Arab countries not only to slam the Israeli offensive, but to act on the ground by cutting their relations with Israel, by breaking the Israeli siege and opening the Rafah Border terminal.

He also demanded the Arab countries and leaders to practice pressure on the international community to stop the Israeli offensive.

In Ramallah, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr, Hanan Ashrawi, said that Europe and the United States are supporting Israel as Europe is upgrading its relations with Israel which is encouraging it to carry further attacks against the Palestinians while the US is sending more financial and military support to Israel.

Ashrawi added that Arab leaders must be decisive in their response to the Israeli offensive and must act to stop these attacks. In Bethlehem, Dr. Victor Batarsa, mayor of the city, said that the municipality decided to cancel all Christmas celebrations and to remove Christmas tree from the manger square in addition to removing Christmas lights and decorations.

Thousands of Palestinian refugees in Jordan along with Jordanian nationals took off to the street protesting against the Israeli attacks in Gaza and called on Jordan to cut its diplomatic ties with Israel.

Massive protests were also reported in Egypt as the protesters calls for a response to the Israeli offensive and crimes against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Protests were also reported in refugee camps in Lebanon calling for unity among the Palestinian factions and demanding Arab unity in order to counter the Israeli crimes.

They also called on all resistance factions to step-up their retaliation against the Israeli offensive and to strike back in the occupied territories and in Israel.

Saed Banora
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  1. Demonstrations around the world — Paul