The UN has resumed its aid operations in the Gaza Strip, as a Hamas delegation is headed for Egypt to discuss a way to end the Israeli bombardment.
The distribution of aid was suspended because the UN said its people were being wounded and killed by Israeli forces. It has now won safety assurances. More than 800 people have died in the offensive, nearly a third of them children. The hospitals are packed with injured civilians. Israel says it carried out 70 air strikes yesterday alone. The Israeli and UN authorities are investigating the bombing of a house by IDF forces who had advised the Palestinians to shelter there. The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has defended Israel’s position: “It is very difficult in a situation like Gaza, which is a densely-populated area. I might note it is also an area where Hamas participates in activities like using human shields, and using buildings that are not designated as military buildings to hide their fighters.” Israel’s losses are on a smaller scale but no less tragic for their families. Ten soldiers have slready lost their lives. International demands for an end to the bombardment continue to grow. More than 80 demonstrations are planned in France alone today.