Strike on Gaza
Day three of Operation Cast Lead saw Defense Minister Ehud Barak issue a stark warning to Hamas: "Unless the criminal fire at Israeli citizens stops immediately, Israel will utilize all the legal means at its disposal in order to halt the enemy's aggression."
Speaking after the daily security assessment, Barak reiterated Israel's plea to Gazans to keep away from terror hubs for their own safety.
Army preparing for next stage of Operation Cast Lead; senior officers support launching of ground incursion in Gaza to substantiate Israeli deterrence, say Hamas still capable of carrying out extensive ops
Alongside the strikes, Israel allowed 63 truckloads of humanitarian aid, food and medicine into the Strip on Monday, through the Kerem Shalom crossing, as well as 1,000 blood units through the Erez crossing. Egypt allowed five ambulances and basic supplies into the Strip.
In Gaza, Palestinian sources reported of several IAF strikes across the Strip, killing at least a dozen people and injuring dozens of others.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced Israel's "excessive use of force" in the Gaza offensive Monday evening and accused the international community of not doing enough to curb the violence.
At a press conference in New York, Ban said that "While recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself, I have also condemned the excessive use of force by Israel in Gaza. The suffering caused to civilian populations as a result of the large-scale violence and destruction that have taken place over the past few days has saddened me profoundly."
Yitzhak Benhorin and Ali Waked contributed to this report