Israel mounts third day of Gaza raids, 307 killed
Gaza, December 29, 2008
Israeli warplanes pounded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for a third consecutive day on Monday and the Jewish state prepared to launch a possible invasion after killing 307 Palestinians in the air raids.
Israel, which stepped up the air strikes after dark on Sunday, said it launched the campaign on Saturday in response to almost daily rocket and mortar fire that intensified after the Islamist Hamas group ended a six-month ceasefire a week ago.
Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said the military action would go on until the population in southern Israel 'no longer live in terror and in fear of constant rocket barrages'.
'(The operation could) take many days,' said military spokesman Avi Benayahu.
Israeli tanks were deployed on Gaza's edge, poised to enter the densely populated coastal enclave of 1.5 million Palestinians. Olmert's cabinet approved a call-up of 6,500 reservists, a government official said.
Hamas remained defiant and the group's spokesman Fawzi Barhoum urged Palestinian groups to use 'all available means, including martyrdom operations' - a reference to suicide bombings in Israel.-Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Cameron pushes for travel bans on Russian MPs
- Indian coastguards join Malaysia jet search
- Confusion as search for lost jet spreads
- Military denies lost plane's flight to Malacca
- Investors monitoring Pimco after internal strife
- N Korea tanker ‘leaves Libya rebel port carrying oil’
- Malaysia plane incident not terror related: Interpol
- Crimea closes air space to commercial flights
- Missing Malaysian plane last seen At Malacca Strait
- Stolen passport holder on missing plane is Iranian
- China deploys 10 satellites to search for Malaysia jet
- Libya says halts tanker outside port; rebels deny it
- Libya orders military force to 'liberate' ports
- Big bananas: Chiquita, Fyffes merge
- Radar sweeps, dozens of aircraft, but no sign of plane
- N Korea tanker loads oil at Libya rebel port
- Gold drops as US growth optimism weighs
- Merkel raps Putin; Russia tightens grip on Crimea
- World 'at sea' over missing Malaysian jetliner
- Passports requiring probe were on Malaysia flight
- 40 killed in Yemen as Houthi fighters near capital
- Vietnam finds object in sea; search on
- $5bn poll spend to boost India economy
- Libya authorises use of force against Korean tanker
- Ukraine PM says he will go to US to discuss crisis
- Syrian journalist killed covering fighting
- Malaysian jet may have turned back before vanishing
- No sign of missing plane; Malaysia probes false passports
- Two Europeans not on board 'missing' Malaysian jet
- China draws red line on North Korea