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Preparing for battle Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office
Preparing for battle Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office
 
Gaza under attack Photo: AP
Gaza under attack Photo: AP
 
 

 

240 targets attacked in IDF operation

Second day of 'Operation Cast Lead' begins with attacks on specific targets throughout Strip, including government compound, main jail. Several Fatah prisoners killed in strike, two Palestinians die in Jabalya. Barak allows trucks carrying limited amounts of medical equipment, food to enter Strip

Hanan Greenberg
Latest Update: 12.28.08, 15:36 / Israel News

The second day of the Israel Defense Forces' "Operation Cast Lead" in the Gaza Strip began with an Israel Air Force attack on a number of targets in the southern Strip. Some 240 targets have been attacked as part of the operation so far.

 

Palestinians reported that two people were killed at around 2:30 pm from a missile fired by an IAF jet at a car travelling in the Jabalya area. According to the Palestinians, 285 people have been killed since the operation was launched on Saturday morning and 900 were injured.

 

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According to the French news agency, the target attacked was a Hamas police station. Some of the injured are in critical condition and were taken to the Shifa Hospital in the city.

 

Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported Sunday morning that the IAF struck the Saraya compound, which houses Hamas' government offices and headquarters and the Gaza Strip's main prison.

 

Fatah sources in the Strip said prisoners from the organization who were held in Saraya were killed in the attack.

 

The Saraya prison holds Fatah prisoners who were captured during the Hamas takeover of the Strip.

 

It is not clear how many prisoners were killed in the attack. According to media reports, some of the prisoners managed to escape following the attack.

 

On Sunday morning, the Palestinian news agency reported that families of the prisoners called for the protection of their loved ones from a possible Israeli attack. According to another report, the offices of Gaza's governor were also bombed. There were no reports of injuries.

 

Hamas' television station reported that two Palestinians were killed in an Air Force strike in Gaza's Zaitun neighborhood as their car was bombed. The network also reported that IAF jets attacked targets near the Strip's airport, east of Rafah.

 

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the defense establishment to allow the transfer of humanitarian aid into the Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

 

The IAF continued to strike targets in the Strip throughout the night. Some of the targets are part of the operation's bank of targets, while others were attacked in a bid to thwart the firing of rockets from Gaza towards Israel.


Bodies evacuated in Gaza on Saturday (Photo: AP)

 

A day after hundreds of Palestinians were killed and injured in Gaza, and following a consultation between the defense establishment, Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister's Office, it was decided to allow the entry of a limited amount of humanitarian aid from international aid organization into the Strip.

 

According to the agreement, the crossings will remain closed, but trucks carrying medical equipment, medications and basic food products will enter the Strip through the Kerem Shalom terminal.

 

The IDF struck about 30 different targets in the Gaza Strip since Sunday morning, including several cells planning to launch rockets at Israel. According to some reports, a weapons warehouse was bombed in the town of Rafah.

 

According to other reports, the IAF bombed a truck travelling on the city's streets. The Palestinians also reported that a fire which broke out in the area caused injuries in nearby houses.

 

An evaluation of the situation held by the IDF on Sunday morning revealed that the Hamas organization suffered somewhat from the operation, but according to estimates, "its ability to respond extensively and using different means has been maintained."

 

Night of strikes in Gaza

Sources in the Gaza Strip reported that IAF jets attacked some 20 different targets on Saturday night.

Hamas reported that Israeli jets bombarded a mosque in Gaza City and the al-Jazeera television network said that for people were killed in the strike. The offices of Hamas' television station were also hit.

 

The IDF said in a statement that "the army will continue to strike any target that is used as a base for terror against Israeli civilians. Those who launch terrorist attacks against the residents of Israel's southern communities will not find shelter anywhere."

 

The IDF has also begun mobilizing tanks and reinforcement infantry troops to the Gaza region in the event a ground incursion is ordered.

 

In an interview with the British SKY network, Defense Minister Barak said that ground forces would indeed enter the Strip if the move was deemed necessary by Jerusalem.

 

Barak did not declare outright that there would be a ground offensive, but said that he could not presume to guess what Hamas' next move would be and therefore was preparing the military for any contingency.

 

The IAF struck a total of 100 Hamas targets in Gaza on Saturday. Palestinian medical officials reported at least 230 people killed in the Israeli strikes.

 

Meanwhile, the rocket fire towards Israel continued throughout the day, and by 9 pm 64 rockets had been fired, of them 44 were fired towards Eshkol and Sdot Negev Regional Council and the rest towards Sderot and Ashkelon.

 

Beber Vaaknin, 58, was killed and five other Israelis sustained light to serious wounds on Saturday after rockets hit a synagogue in Eshkol Regional Council as well as an apartment building in Netivot.

 

Roee Nahmias, Ali Waked, Ilana Curiel and AFP contributed to this report

 

First Published: 12.28.08, 08:17

 

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