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A day in the life of those waging and suffering from war

By unknown | Jan 16, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A summary of the main events on the ground and on the diplomatic front over the past 24 hours in Israel's war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip:

l Israeli tanks lunge deepest yet into Gaza's cities sparking ferocious battles with Hamas. Israeli warplanes pummel Gaza with some 70 strikes overnight, targeting Palestinian fighters, rocket launching sites and weapon storage sites, including a mosque in the south.

l Hamas does not want changes to the "broad outlines" of an Egyptian-brokered truce plan for Gaza, one of the Islamists' Gaza-based leaders says, without accepting the plan outright.

l Israel sends senior officials - Amos Gilad, Israel's pointman for the ceasefire talks and Aharon Abramovitz, a senior aide to foreign minister Tzipi Livni - to Cairo and Washington respectively to discuss a ceasefire proposal.

l US Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrives in Israel continuing a regional tour. He says that elements are in place the war to end "now" and that the death toll from the war has become "unbearable."

l A wing of a hospital in Gaza City catches fire after an Israeli strike, witnesses say.

The strike occurs near the Al-Quds Hospital in the southwestern neighbourhood of Tal Al-Hawa, where hundreds of people have taken shelter from advancing Israeli tanks.

UN chief Ban expresses "outrage" and demands an explanation.

l Militants in Gaza fire 17 rockets and mortars into Israel in the space of several hours.

l Since Israel unleashed its Operation Cast Lead on December 27, at least 1065 people have been killed and another 5000 wounded, according to Gaza medics.

Among the dead are at least 355 children, 100 women, 117 elderly men and 12 medics.

On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and three civilians have died as a result of combat or rocket fire, Israel says.

l The UN agency for Palestinian refugees suspends its operations inside Gaza after its compound is hit by an Israeli strike, injuring three.

l Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, says in a newspaper article his Islamist movement would accept a ceasefire under "clear and simple" conditions - the lifting of the blockades on Gaza, the opening of the crossings and Israel's complete withdrawal.

l German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrives in Israel for the first stage of a Middle East tour to seek a truce. - Sapa-AFP


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