Headline News


Gazans head out during temporary pause


Source: | 01-12-2009 13:40

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

Israel's military halted fire in Gaza for three hours on Sunday, to allow the territory's besieged residents to leave their homes and stock up on essential supplies.

Israel has warned Gaza's 1.5 million residents that it plans to escalate its air and ground incursion.

A dog sniffs aid which is destined for Gaza before it goes in. For a second straight day, Israel said it suspended is Gaza military operation for three hours to allow distribution of humanitarian supplies.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) 
A dog sniffs aid which is destined for Gaza before it 
goes in. For a second straight day, Israel said it 
suspended is Gaza military operation for three hours to 
allow distribution of humanitarian supplies.
(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

This is the fourth time in recent days that Israel has suspended its offensive to allow aid groups to help with the humanitarian effort.

Residents rushed onto the streets to stock up on essential materials, and medics used lull to rescue casualties in areas of fighting.

Some say that a pause for three hours is far from long enough.

Gaza resident said, "Three hours are not enough to do anything. The issue is not simply doing one's shopping in three hours. First, where are the goods that you can shop around for? Second, where is the money to pay for it? And everything is being sold at much higher prices."

Meanwhile, the Israeli military dropped leaflets over the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, warning residents of the escalation. Many Gazans have responded by collecting their belongings and heading out of the city.

Volunteer Egyptian doctors also started work in Gaza, to help their Palestinian colleagues deal with a mounting toll of deaths and injuries.

Inspired by the scenes of suffering in Gaza, these doctors struggled past Egyptian authorities and Israeli air-raids to give practical and moral support to Gaza's own overworked and under-supplied surgeons.

Muhammad Othman, an Egyptian doctor, said, "I am one of an Egyptian medical team coming from Egypt to support the medical Palestinian side, who face such a disaster, and such mass causalities, which is against humanity, against sympathy, against everything with the nice meaning of life."

Israeli defense officials say they are preparing for a third stage of their offensive, in which ground troops would push further into Gaza, but are waiting for approval from the government.


Editor:Zhang Yun