Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Israel" bombs University--

"Israel bombs university in Gaza:

Video: The Islamic University is hit during a series of Israeli airstrikes

"Israeli air force jets have bombed the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip, a significant cultural symbol for Hamas."

Monday, 29 December 2008

Warplanes also struck Hamas government offices as air raids aimed at forcing Palestinian militants to halt rocket fire into southern Israel continued.

Palestinian medics say nearly 300 people have been killed in the air raids that began on Saturday.

Israel has threatened to launch a ground assault and is now calling up 6,500 army reservists.

Witnesses in Gaza said they saw six separate air strikes on the Islamic University, hitting a laboratory building, just after midnight.

The university is a centre of support for Hamas - the Islamist militant group which controls the Gaza Strip. Many of its top officials graduated from there.

A BBC journalist in Gaza said the university authorities had evacuated the campus a few days ago as they had been expecting a strike.


Ewa Jasiewicz, an international volunteer with the Free Gaza Movement in Bayt Lahiya in the north of Gaza, told the BBC she had heard explosions late into the night and had seen local TV reports of a helicopter bombing a mosque and killing five girls.

She said she had seen for herself hospitals desperately overstretched as they struggled with serious casualties.

"Because Gaza is so densely populated, there is no such thing as precision strike - you have glass, brick, shrapnel flying into people's homes," she said.

Earlier on Sunday, Israel bombed supply tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip used by Palestinians to smuggle food and other supplies - including weapons, says Israel - past the Israeli blockade of the territory.

As jets pounded the southern Gaza Strip, hundreds of Palestinians stormed over a fence on the Gaza-Egypt border, but Egyptian security forces fired shots to prevent them entering.

An Egyptian security official was shot dead and another wounded in the turmoil which followed.

At the UN, the Security Council joined international calls for restraint by urging an end to all violence in Gaza, including rocket attacks from Gaza.

Israel says militants have fired 110 rockets into Israel since Saturday.

The air strikes were launched on Saturday against Hamas targets in the densely-populated coastal territory, less than a week after the expiry of a six-month-long ceasefire deal with the militant group.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the Gaza assault (Video)

Israel has hit targets in all Gaza's main towns, including Gaza City in the north and Khan Younis and Rafah in the south.

More than 210 targets were hit in the first 24 hours of what Israel says could be a lengthy military operation.

"We took Hamas by surprise, we targeted Hamas headquarters, so this is the beginning of a successful operation, I hope, but the idea is to change realities on the ground," Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the BBC on Sunday.

The high numbers of casualties made Saturday the single deadliest day in the Gaza Strip since Israel's occupation of the territory in 1967, analysts said, although no independent confirmation is available of the numbers killed....