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Israel Hits Hamas Targets for 2nd Day, Prepares Possible Invasion

  • VOA News

Israel's military has carried out a second day of air strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip while preparing ground troops for a possible invasion.

Israeli warplanes destroyed Hamas' main security complex and a mosque in Gaza City on Sunday. Israel says the mosque was a terrorist base.

Israeli aircraft also bombed a network of smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza used to bring in weapons and commercial goods from across the border with Egypt.

Officials in Gaza say two days of Israeli air strikes have killed more than 290 Palestinians, including at least 180 Hamas militants. Palestinian officials say the attacks also have killed at least 15 civilians and wounded more than 900 people.

A rocket fired from Gaza on Saturday killed one Israeli.

Gaza militants fired more rockets into southern Israel Sunday, two of which landed near the Israeli port of Ashdod, reaching deeper into Israel than ever before. No casualties were reported.


Hundreds of Palestinians in southern Gaza tried to breach the Egyptian border Sunday, prompting Egyptian border guards to fire into the air. Egypt says gunfire from Gaza killed one Egyptian border guard.

In another development, Israel allowed an aid convoy into Gaza Sunday, briefly easing its blockade on the Hamas-run territory.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says rising casualties in Gaza are putting what it calls a tremendous strain on the territory's overburdened hospitals. It says the facilities are in dire need of medical equipment and supplies.

Israel's military deployed ground troops on the edge of Gaza, while the Cabinet approved a callup of 65-hundred reservists. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the operation may last a long time.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday that Israel has no plans to re-occupy Gaza.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in Cairo that he begged Hamas leaders to extend a six-month truce with Israel, but without success. Hamas declared the truce over on December 19th.

Hamas officials vowed to avenge the Israeli attacks with more rocket strikes and suicide bombings.

In the West Bank, Palestinian medics say Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians during violent protests Sunday against the Gaza offensive.

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