Israeli Troops Move Deeper into Gaza

January 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The move comes as rockets continue to land in Israel and causalities mount on both sides.Israel has split Gaza into three sections and is surrounding the urban areas on the tiny strip of land. The Israeli military said it has hit more than 1,000 targets in the ten-day campaign concentrating on smuggling tunnels and weapons storage sites.

But the human suffering is mounting. Over 530 Palestinians killed since the fighting began. The UN said that 20 percent are civilian. Since the start of the ground invasion, Israel claims to have killed dozens of Hamas fighters and several of its leaders. One Israeli soldier has been killed, and more than 60 injured.

There are reports that Hamas tried to kidnap one Israeli soldier by dragging him into a tunnel. And Hamas is defiant. Its second in command released a taped statement that aired on TV in Gaza. Mahmoud Zahar Hamas Leader said, "The Zionists have legitimized the killing of their children he says when they killed our children."

Sensitive to civilian deaths, Israel again allowed aid to flow into Gaza. Mark Regev Israeli Government Spokesman said "We want to help the innocent civilian population in the Gaza Strip."

Some 80 trucks will be in Gaza Monday with food stuffs, medicine and other vital humanitarian support. Despite the massive Israeli force, Hamas has managed to fire dozens of Rockets at Southern Israeli cities.

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Here in California dozens of people hit the streets of San Jose calling for an end to the battle between Israel and Hamas. The demonstrators carried signs and chanted pro-Palestinian slogans.

Many said they are upset about the civilian deaths in Gaza and want Israel to withdraw. Those in support of Palestinians said the people elected Hamas as their leaders.

Pro-Israel supporters said the country has a right to defend itself from terrorists.

Police said the marchers were peaceful and moved from location to location within the city.


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