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Israel threatens to widen military action

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Israel threatens to widen military action


Gaza is under a state of seige. Israel is maintaining its pressure on the Palestinians to force militants to hand over a kidnapped soldier. Its is also trying to stop Palestinians firing rockets from Gaza into neighbouring Jewish settlements. The Israeli army has little to show for its offensive. The West Bank is being spared but people living there are hearing from families and friends in Gaza of what they are going through. The situation is so bad the UN is warning of an imminent humanitarian disaster.

Air attacks were launched on Khan Younis after Palestinian militants fired several rockets into the Israeli town of Sderot. Israeli missiles killed one man and injured another. In all about 50 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have died in the offensive to find and free Corporal Gilad Shalit.

Prime Minister Olmert has ruled out any withdrawal and a Palestinian offer of a ceasefire, until Shalit is freed. Indeed, he has threatened to expand the offensive. Gaza is now without electricity for 12 to 18 hours a day, food prices have increased by 10 percent in a week, and water supplies can only be maintained for another two weeks .

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