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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 26, 2003

Israeli Army Raids Gaza, Killing 12 Palestinians

This is an interesting article not only for the news it delivers but for the way it presents the story. Note that all those questioned about the attack are Palestinians. Note further that the only reference to Why this was done is " response to..." buried deep within the report. Note too that the reference to the upcoming elections in Israel implies a connection between the attack in Gaza and political motivation on Sharon's part, as though he should do nothing as a leader.
JERUSALEM, Jan. 26 (Sunday) -- Israeli tanks and helicopter gunships swept into central Gaza City late Saturday night, killing at least 12 Palestinians and injuring an estimated 50 others in the deepest incursion into the populous city in 28 months of fighting, according to Palestinian witnesses.

Palestinian gunmen used antitank missiles, explosives and other firepower to fight back against the armored vehicles, according to Israeli military sources. No soldiers were reported killed in the operation, which continued early today.

Witnesses reported that 30 Israeli tanks, backed by Apache helicopter gunships, participated in the attack, which marked a dramatic escalation of the conflict in Gaza. Israeli troops had attacked a community just outside the entrance to Gaza City on Friday.

The death toll in today's fighting was the highest in the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 8 military operation in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. Fifteen Palestinians were killed there when an Israeli helicopter fired a missile into a crowded street.

Though the Israeli military has steadily stepped up its attacks in the Gaza Strip in recent months, today's operation was the first time tanks had ventured into the heart of Gaza City, close to the central square, according to witnesses.

The attack comes as Israelis prepare to vote in an election Tuesday that polls show will return Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Likud Party to power. Sharon's two-year term has been marked by mounting violence between Palestinians and the Israeli army.