Aid is NOT getting through, contrary to Israeli propaganda. However, according to the doctor, the most important thing is to guarantee the safety of the Palestinian population and stop the bombing. From the injuries he is seeing, the doctor suspects that the Israelis are using DIME bombs.
Olmert continues to reject a cease fire – after all, the Israelis only killed 700 Palestinians in the last major conflagration in 2004, the hundreds more killed between then and now don’t count apparently.
The declaration came after Mr Olmert met with French President Nicholas Sarkozy in Jerusalem.
“The results of the operation must be … that Hamas must not only stop firing but must no longer be able to fire,” Mr Olmert told Mr Sarkozy.
“We cannot accept a compromise that will allow Hamas to fire in two months against Israeli towns,” he was quoted as saying.
Hamas said its fighters had fired missiles at seven tanks in the same district and that 10 Israeli soldiers were killed.
Al-Jazeera television said three Israeli soldiers were killed and 30 wounded and Al-Arabiya, another Arab news channel, said there were four Israeli dead.
The Israeli military confirmed there was heavy fighting and released a statement saying three soldiers from the elite Golani Brigade were killed and 24 wounded when their position was accidentally hit by Israeli tank fire in northern Gaza.
Meanwhile, finally the Israelis deigned to let in a team of 4 International Red Cross medics – perhaps this may presage that the Israel will cease its most visible, spectacular human rights violations as the ICRC is responsible for monitoring the Geneva Conventions. The less visible yet just as lethal violations are omnipresent.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says people injured in fighting in the Gaza Strip are dying because ambulances cannot reach them.
“The situation is extremely dangerous and the coordination of ambulance services is very complex because of the incessant attacks and military operations,” ICRC spokeswoman Dorothea Krimitsas said in Geneva.
“Wounded people have died while waiting for Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances.
“In some other cases, ambulances cannot reach the wounded at all because of the ongoing fighting and shelling.”
Some 555 Palestinians have now been killed and 2,700 injured since the start of the Israeli offensive to halt Hamas rocket fire on December 27, the head of Gaza’s emergency services said.
The area’s health services are under stress, with many health workers unable to reach their hospitals, and emergency rooms and intensive care units overwhelmed, according to the Red Cross.
At least two hospitals were out of fuel for their generators, the only source of power available.
The organisation was also concerned about water supplies in the densely populated coastal strip.
Ms Krimitsas said two out of the 45 wells in the Gaza Strip were out of action after having been hit during Israeli air raids, while the pumps on eight others were no longer working because of power cuts.
“Half a million people, that’s about one third of the population of the territory, are threatened with being completely deprived of water,” she said.
Ms Krimitsas said technicians needed to gain access to the electrical installations damaged during the fighting.
A team of four ICRC medical staff, including a surgeon, were allowed into the Gaza Strip from Israel on Monday after three days’ delay, the relief agency said.
They are due to help staff at the territory’s Shifa hospital carry out complex operations on the wounded.
Ms Krimitsas said the medical team also brought in tetanus vaccines for children and blood supplies.
“Hospitals had completely run out of these vaccines, which are potentially lifesaving for patients with dirty wounds or needing an operation,” she said.