FROM GAZA … some news.
“”” Medics tell Press TV they have found traces of depleted uranium in some Gaza residents wounded in Israel’s ground offensive on the strip.
Norwegian medics told Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari that some of the victims who have been wounded since Israel began its attacks on the Gaza Strip on December 27 have traces of depleted uranium in their bodies.
The report comes after Israeli tanks and troops swept across the border into Gaza on Saturday night, opening a ground operation after eight days of intensive attacks by Israeli air and naval forces on the impoverished region.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned on Sunday that the wide-ranging ground offensive in the Gaza Strip would be “full of surprises.”
A ground offensive in the densely-populated Gaza is expected to drastically increase the death toll of the civilian population.
The latest assaults bring the number of Palestinians killed to over 488 with 2790 others wounded. The UN says that about 25 percent of the casualties were civilian deaths – including at least 34 children.
According to Israeli army officials, at least 30 of its soldiers have been wounded since the start of the ground campaign.
Amid global condemnation of the ongoing violence in the region, the UN Security Council failed to agree on a united approach to resolve the crisis.
“Once again, the world is watching in dismay the dysfunctionality of the Security Council,” UN General Assembly chief Miguel d’Escoto said Sunday.
According to diplomatic sources, the US blocked a Security Council resolution, with US Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff arguing that an official statement that criticizes both Israel and Hamas would not be helpful.
The White House has so far declined to comment on whether an Israeli ground incursion into Gaza is a justified measure. “”” [Press TV]
“”” At least 11 Palestinians, including one child, have been killed after Israeli forces struck a mosque during prayers in the town of Beit Lahiya, north of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip.
More than 200 people were inside the the Ibrahim al-Maqadna mosque praying when it was struck.
It is not clear yet whether the mosque was hit as part of the Israeli army’s shelling, which started on Saturday afternoon.
At least 50 people were wounded, Hamas and medical officials said.
The Israeli military has destroyed several mosques during its week-long offensive in Gaza, saying Hamas uses the houses of worship to store weapons.
Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Gaza, said: “As much as Israel wants to be surgical in its strikes at the end of the day it is civilians that are being hit. This is proof that civilians are caught up in these attacks.”
Mohyeldin said doctors in the Gaza Strip were being overwhelmed by the number of casualties being brought in as a result of the Israeli offensive and that hospitals were near a state of collapse due to a lack of medicines and blood. “”” [Al Jazeera]
On 29 December ’08 the Israeli army bombed a truck in Gaza City, claiming it carried Grad rockets, designated for attacks on Israel. Droneof the bombing was shown by the Israeli army.
B’Tselem received the testimony of Ahmad Sanur, the owner of the truck bombed. Sanur claims the truck was carrying oxygen canisters used for welding, not Grad rockets. B’Tselem field worker took photos of oxygen canisters left on the site of the bombing.
According to Sanur’s testimony, he and members of his family were trying to salvage material from a metal workshop he owns, which was next door to a bombed house, in order to prevent looting. He denies any connection to militants, or military activity, and is willing to talk to any journalist, or investigator.
8 people were killed in the bombing, including his son. Two were severely wounded (names may have different spelling):
Muhammad bassel Madi, 17
Wisam Akram ‘Eid, 14
‘Imad Ahmad Sanur, 32
Rami Sa’adi Ghabayan, 24
Mahmoud Nabil Ghabayan, 14
Ashraf a-Dabagh, 26
Muhammad Majed Ka’abar, 20
Ahmad Ibrahim Khila, 15
Two were severely injured:
Bilal Suheil Ghabayan, 19
Baha Suheil Ghabayan, 16 “”” [B’Tselem]