A Palestinian child was killed by Israeli tank fire in the Gaza Strip late Saturday, becoming the first victim of a ground offensive against the Hamas stronghold, medics said.
US blocks cease-fire, gives Israel carte blanche to continue killing in Gaza
By Barry Grey
3 January 2009
As the Israeli devastation of Gaza enters its second week and signs point to an imminent ground invasion of the densely populated and impoverished Palestinian territory, the US government is working to block diplomatic initiatives for a cease-fire in order to give Israel a free hand to intensify its assault on the defenseless population.
While Israeli planes, warships and missiles continued to level civilian buildings, mosques and homes, and thousands of Israeli troops with tanks, artillery and armored vehicles awaited the order to enter the Palestinian enclave, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared outside the White House Friday morning following a briefing on the Gaza crisis with President George W. Bush. In a terse statement, Rice once again placed the blame for the Israeli aggression on Hamas and underscored Washington’s support for Israel’s rejection of cease-fire proposals from France, the European Union and a number of Arab governments.