No End in Sight as Gaza Toll Passes 900

Hamas Suggests Openness to Ceasefire, Israel Seems Content to Let War Continue

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni rejected the notion that the United Nations could urge her government to end its ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, saying only Israel gets to decide when it will stop attacking the strip. With the death toll quietly passing 900 today, indications are that they don’t intend to decide to stop any time soon.

“If it takes time it takes time,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisted, saying the war would continue until it manages to destroy every single tunnel on the Egypt-Gaza border and somehow brings the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, which has continued daily since the invasion, to a halt. Olmert did however make the unprecedented move of apologizing for every non-terrorist casualty caused by its military (well over a thousand by most reports): previously Israel has insisted that it was not in any way to blame for any of the people it killed or wounded.

On a somewhat more optimistic note, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who has been in hiding since the Israeli invasion began, expressed the group’s willingness to cooperate with any ceasefire initiative that would end the Israeli attacks and lead to an end to the blockade of the strip. As Olmert promises to show Gaza his “iron fist” there seems to be no one with both the inclination and the influence to make that happen in a timely fashion, however.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.