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 Israel looking for Gaza knockout

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Annie

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Join date : 2009-01-05

PostSubject: Israel looking for Gaza knockout   Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:57 am

Israel looking for Gaza knockout

Israel has thrown its reservists into battle as it tries to land a knockout blow on Hamas.

The Jewish state is expected to launch a full-scale attack on tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt to cut off the Palestinian militants' supply lines, or step up street fighting to flush out the Islamists.

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Israel has thrown its reservists into battle as it tries to land a knockout blow on Hamas.

The Jewish state is expected to launch a full-scale attack on tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt to cut off the Palestinian militants' supply lines, or step up street fighting to flush out the Islamists.

The Palestinian death toll is nearing 900 after 17 days of fighting in the Palestinian enclave.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met late on Sunday and decided to tighten pressure on Hamas by using the country's sizeable army reserves.

Busloads of Israeli reservists headed south towards Gaza on Sunday as fighting raged on in the Hamas-ruled territory in defiance of a UN Security Council demand for a ceasefire.

The move risks higher Israeli military casualties as well as even heavier losses among the 1.5 million Palestinians packed into the tiny coastal enclave.

Israeli warplanes have repeatedly bombed the so-called Philadelphi corridor along Gaza's nine-mile border with Egypt and used "bunker buster" munitions that explode underground and cause shockwaves to try to collapse the tunnels.

Israel, which rejected last week's UN ceasefire resolution as unworkable, wants a halt to rocket attacks and measures to stop Hamas from rearming via the cross-border tunnels.

Mr Barak said: "We are determined to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves at the beginning of the operation, and are in parallel examining the diplomatic course as well."

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said his Islamist group would not consider a ceasefire until Israel ended its air, sea and ground assault and lifted its blockade of Gaza. A Hamas delegation is in Cairo for talks on an Egyptian truce plan.

The Palestinian death toll stands at 890, many of them civilians, Gaza medical officials said. About 3,600 Palestinians have been wounded.

Some 13 Israelis - three civilians hit by rocket fire and ten soldiers - have been killed, Israel says.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090112/twl-israel-looking-for-gaza-knockout-41f21e0.html
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