Saturday 27 December 2008

Shadow of death spreads over Gaza

Israeli helicopters fly over the Gaza Strip for a second round of attacks after killing at least 180 people in their previous attack.

Military gunboats have also been approaching the coastal territory, witnesses told Press TV on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Israeli aircraft launched a massive offensive against the territory, killing at least 180 people and wounding hundreds others.

The death toll, mostly civilians according to the Palestinian Hamas, is expected to rise.

The Israeli Army announced Saturday that the airstrikes "will continue, will be expanded, and will deepen if necessary," the Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported.

Meanwhile, Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Gaza radio that the movement "will continue resistance until the last drop of blood."

The movement also urged its members to take retaliatory measures against Israel.

"We call on all units to avenge with force against the enemy," a Hamas spokesman said in a message broadcast on the radio.

A six-month Egypt-mediated truce between Israel and Hamas expired on Tuesday, after which 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. The six Qassam rockets fired from Gaza into western Negev caused no casualties and no property damage.

Israel now claims that its recent military incursions are directed at bringing to end rocket attacks launched by Palestinian factions.

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