Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Strikes on Gaza continue ahead of imminent ceasefire

Posted by claudiacampli su 17 gennaio, 2009


Israel bombarded Gaza with 50 airstrikes overnight ahead of a proposed unilateral ceasefire, which could be approved by the Jewish state tonight.

Two children were killed in northern Gaza when the UN school they were sheltering in with 1,600 other people was struck by Israeli shelling.

UN spokesman Chris Gunness called for the soldiers involved to be tried for war crimes and said the Israelis had been provided with the coordinates of the school and knew it was being used as a shelter.

The Israeli military was investigating the incident and had no immediate comment. But in similar cases, it has accused Hamas fighters of staging attacks from schools, mosques and other civilian areas.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s security cabinet is due to meet this evening and it is believed ministers may decide to halt the fighting without concluding any deal with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency, said two brothers had been killed and 14 people wounded, including the boys’ mother, when Israeli tank fire hit the school run by UNRWA in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

About 45,000 Gazans fleeing battle zones are sheltering in UN-run schools in the heavily populated strip. Israeli shelling killed 42 people who had taken refuge at a UN school on January 6. An UNRWA compound was hit twice on Thursday by Israeli fire, destroying tonnes of vital food and medical aid and three staff were wounded. Hospital staff said four people had been killed by tank fire in another Gaza neighbourhood today. Hamas said one of its fighters had also been killed.

Muawiyah Hassanein, director of the Hamas-run ambulance service, said more than 1,199 Palestinians had died, among them 410 children, and 5,300 wounded, including 1,630 children.

Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians, hit by rockets fired from Gaza, have been killed during the campaign which started on December 27.

Israeli jets roared over Gaza before dawn and heavy explosions flashed to the south and north of the city.

The army said it had attacked 50 targets overnight, including 16 tunnels, two mosques from which gunmen had fired on troops, three bunkers, eight rocket-launching pads and six mined areas including a booby-trapped building.

At home,the Prime Minister today offered to send the Royal Navy to help monitor and stop weapons being smuggled into Gaza.

Gordon Brown said Britain was also prepared to help make sure there was proper protection and monitoring of the crossings into the strip.

Israel has accused Hamas of using tunnels between Gaza and Egypt to smuggle arms.

The Egyptian government has said the tunnels are mainly used for food while most arms are being smuggled into Gaza by sea.

Mr Brown said: “Germany, France and Great Britain have just sent a letter to Israel and Egypt to say they will do everything we can to prevent arms trafficking which is at the root of some of the problems….I believe that will help get a solution to this crisis.”

Other countries have also agreed to provide the support necessary to stop arms getting into Gaza, he added.

Britain will also provide a “very substantial setting-up of humanitarian aid”, he said.

“If the ceasefire comes, we have people ready to bring supplies into Gaza.

“We’re prepared to help move children, to take them out of the area so they can be treated elsewhere.

“We’re also determined that we do everything in our power to deal with unexploded bombs so that people feel more secure in the Gaza area.”

He promised that Britain would be increasing its humanitarian aid over the next five years.

“Britain will not be lacking in support. We’re prepared to give to heal the suffering that is obvious in Gaza,” he said.

The Prime Minister announced the move as thousands of people gathered to demonstrate against the continuing Israeli attacks.

Rallies in Birmingham and London saw thousands of people calling for an end to the conflict.

In London’s Trafalgar Square, former cabinet minister Tony Benn told the crowd the Royal Navy should be used to break the blockade of Gaza and warships should accompany ships carrying food and medicine to the territory.

He also called on the UK Government to withdraw its ambassador from Israel.

He said Israeli planes should be stopped from landing in British airports.

Another speaker, Sumaya Almari, of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, said: “Gordon Brown and Mr David Miliband and the rest of the politicians in the UK it is time for you to listen to your people.

“Time for you to consider the thousands of people who are marching the streets.”

In Birmingham many people waved banners stating “Gaza Under Fire, Stop the Genocide, End the Siege”, while others burned the Israeli flag and carried dummies on stretchers to represent the bodies of victimsNine anti-war protesters were arrested today after they broke into an arms factory in East Sussex, causing extensive damage.

The group, who said they were “decommissioning” the site, entered the EDO MBM Technology plant in Home Farm Road, Moulsecoomb, Brighton, shortly before 2am.

They claimed equipment manufactured at the plant was being used in Gaza by the Israeli air force.

Andrew Beckett, spokesman for protest group Smash EDO, said: “According to one witness computers and filing cabinets were hurled out of top floor windows as a group of protesters broke in to the factory.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said extensive damage was caused to the building, computer equipment and precison engineering equipment and seven men and two women were arrested at the scene.

Dr John Sentamu held a special service of prayer and lament for the situation, saying the international community must redouble its efforts for peace.

He said: “It is high time that all people in the region recognised the right of the state of Israel to exist and the need for the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

“Therefore, the international community must redouble its efforts to bring about this reality and a lasting peace. We have all been guilty to ignore the danger signs over the last eight years.”

A British aid agency said it was ready to send humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip as soon as a peace deal was signed.

Save the Children said once humanitarian agencies and personnel were given permission to enter the conflict zone it would send more personnel and aid into Gaza.

Under the ceasefire plan, fighting would stop immediately for 10 days, but Israeli forces would initially remain in Gaza and the border crossings into the territory would remain closed until security arrangements were made to ensure Hamas did not rearm.

Salam Kanaan, Save the Children’s country director, who is based in Jerusalem, said: “Save the Children is now preparing to go into Gaza as soon as crossings open and the green light is given.

“Around three quarters of a million people there are dependent on food aid. More than 3,000 women have given birth, often with little support. And there has been absolutely no support for children suffering from the stress they have been subjected to in recent weeks. We’re poised, ready to get in there and deliver fast.”



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