It is an attack the United Nations chief has called outrageous. The headquarters of UN relief agencies in Gaza has been hit by Israeli shells, injuring three people. Aid supplies have also been set alight.
The UN has suspended its operations in Gaza because of the violence. It is the second time the UN has been hit by Israeli fire since the offensive began.
Judy Clark of the UNRWA said: “Our warehouses have been hit by some kind of explosives and have caught alight. The fire has spread from the workshops by the oil to the warehouses. We’ve lost all our food and medicine from the fire.”
A day after the Palestinian death toll went past the 1,000 mark, Israel today carried out its most relentless bombardments yet. A tower block used by international media organisations was also hit, injuring several people, and a hospital came under fire.
The stepping up of the Israeli offensive came as politicians started to hint that the campaign may be coming to an end.
Some analysts say Israel is likely to reduce operations next week when Barack Obama is sworn in as US president. They say Israel has had firm backing from outgoing President Bush, but things could change under Obama because of the mounting condemnation of the offensive around the world.