Israel continues Gaza attacks
ISRAELI troops are engaged in fierce battles with Palestinian fighters tonight with reports of deaths on both sides.
Israel says one soldier has been killed and 31 wounded by Palestinian gunfire, mortar bombs, or mines while Palestine estimates 41 dead, most of whom were civilians.
Gaza City is tonight wreathed in billowing, black smoke as tonight as Israeli tanks continued to pour shells and machinegun-fire into suspected militant positions as Hamas fighters fought back with mortars and rockets.
Israel's nine-day offensive on Gaza is estimated to have killed over 500 Palestinians.
European Union foreign policy chiefs launched a mission to seek a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip but acknowledged they faced a difficult task persuading the parties to stop fighting.
“We don’t intend neither to occupy Gaza nor to crush Hamas, but to crush terror. And Hamas needs a real and serious lesson. They are now getting it,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said in an interview on the ABC News
program “This Week”.
In London yesterday there were clashes outside the Israeli Embassy between protesters and police wearing riot gear.
Police made several arrests, claiming protesters made repeated attempts to break through the barriers and throw missiles outside the embassy in south Kensington.
Earlier, thousands of protesters took to the streets of the UK and across the world to demonstrate against the bombing of Gaza- burning the Israeli flag and throwing fireworks as the military action against Hamas was stepped up.
But last night Israel’s military said ground forces were crossing the Gaza border, in an expansion of Israel’s week-old offensive against Hamas.
Israeli TV channels broadcast images of troops marching into Gaza after nightfall.
It was reported that defence officials said around 10,000 soldiers have massed along the border in recent days.