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No let-up in Israeli assault on Gaza

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No let-up in Israeli assault on Gaza

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Israel has warned there will be no let-up in its assault on Gaza, which is now in its tenth day and which has cut the enclave in two. Shells and rockets continue to rain down, and robot drones circle overhead searching for new targets. Israel insists it does not want to re-occupy Gaza, nor force Hamas from power, but just wants to stop missiles being fired across the border. However, the missiles continue: dozens landed in southern Israel in the past few hours.

The army says it has warned civilians to leave their homes to lessen casualties, but in such a densely-populated area, they have nowhere to go. Israel enjoys overwhelming military superiority, but is meeting fierce resistance. Much of the fighting is now street by street, and both sides have suffered losses. 500 Palestinians have died since the onslaught began, many of them civilians, while Israel admits one soldier has been killed. The invasion has sparked outrage in Arab countries, and worldwide appeals for a ceasefire. But America is the region’s powerbroker, and there has still been no statement from President-elect Barack Obama.