Gaza braces for Israel attack.

This is from AFP.

It seems that another ceasefire is not likely. Note this article speaks of Hamas violently ceasing power but in fact Hamas was elected and the power seizure was to stop a potential seizure by Abbas supporters. The innocents and children will be in danger of course because of Israeli attacks which pay little attention to collateral damage. Both sides are guilty of not concerning themselves with innocents and there is a never ending tit for tat as Israel targets militants and the militants respond with rockets, most of them ineffective and just prompting more Israeli reaction.

Gaza braces for Israeli offensive
4 hours ago
JERUSALEM (AFP) — The spectre of a military invasion loomed large over Gaza on Friday as militants fired another volley of rockets despite Israeli warnings that failure to stop the attacks would lead to bloodshed.
"Army preparing for combined ground, air operation in Gaza," declared the front-page headline in Israel's Haaretz newspaper.
Media speculated that Israeli forces were likely to conduct limited military operations rather than a full-scale invasion of the Palestinian enclave that is controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas.
The Israeli authorities nonetheless opened crossings to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid and vital supplies, including fuel and medicine, to the aid-dependent population.
Violence in and around Gaza has flared since a six-month ceasefire ended on December 19, and escalated dramatically on Wednesday when militants fired more than 80 rockets and mortar rounds after Israeli forces conducted deadly air strikes over the coastal strip.
Five rockets and two mortar rounds were fired by militants before dawn on Firday, but caused no casualties.
One mortar shell hit a house which was not occupied at the time, near the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the besieged Palestinian territory, causing some damage, residents said.
Israel has responded to the rocket attacks by tightening the blockade it has imposed since Hamas, which is branded a terrorist outfit by Israel and the West, violently seized power in Gaza in June 2007.
But on Friday, officials said about 90 truckloads of supplies, including some sent from Egypt, were being delivered to the impoverished and overcrowded territory of 1.5 million people.
At the same time, the Israeli government issued dire warnings to Gaza militants, saying the Jewish state would strike back hard if attacks continue.
"I will not hesitate to use Israel's strength to strike at Hamas and Islamic Jihad," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television on Thursday, adding ominously: "We have very great and destructive strength which we do not wish to use."
"I think of the tens of thousands of children and innocents who will be in danger as a result of Hamas' actions," he said.
Since the Egyptian-mediated truce ended last week, Israel has threatened to launch a major offensive on Gaza, and top leaders called for the toppling of Hamas.
The Islamist movement -- which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state -- has warned in turn that it would retaliate by resuming suicide bombings inside Israel. The last such attack claimed by Hamas was in January 2005.
Egypt boosted security along its border with Gaza in anticipation of an offensive, while popular pressure for a military operation is mounting in Israel.
"The systematic shelling of civilians in Israel's communities is a war crime and a crime against humanity. The state of Israel has to protect its citizens," the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot said.
The conservative Jerusalem Post called for the "methodical elimination" of Hamas leaders.
"Once begun, Israel's battle against Hamas must be terminated only when the Islamists lose their governing capacity," the English-language newspaper said.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who hopes to replace Olmert as prime minister after the February 10 election, warned that the situation in Gaza "has become an obstacle on the way of the Palestinians toward a state."
"Enough is enough. The situation is going to change," she said in after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Thursday.
Livni has vowed to topple Hamas if her Kadima party wins the February election.
Under former prime minister Ariel Sharon, the centrist party orchestrated the pullout of Israeli settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005 after 38 years of occupation but Israel retains control of the borders.


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