Over 345 Killed in Gaza as Israel Preps for Ground Invasion

Already Dicey Humanitarian Situation Worsens as Attacks Continue

Updated 12/29 5:55 PM EST

There are two reasons a Gazan is outside today amid continuing Israeli air strikes, to bury relatives or to search for food. Food continues to be in short supply and shops are closed in what the UN is describing as a “disastrous” humanitarian situation. Dead relatives to bury are sadly quite plentiful as the toll of two days worth of Israeli attacks has surpassed 345 killed and 1,550 wounded. For the rest of the tiny strip’s 1.5 million residents, life consists of remaining home and hoping the next bomb dropped doesn’t land on them.

The already crippling Israeli attacks are only expected to escalate in the coming days, as Israeli forces mass along the border in preparation for a ground invasion. The military is also deploying artillery near the strip. Promises that the artillery will take precautions to avoid killing civilians likely carry little weight after the last two days of attacks.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged patience as he predicted a long operation, and they’ve managed to make the already struggling Gaza Strip into a chaotic mess, but since Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says Israel doesn’t plan to occupy Gaza and analysts say the attacks are unlikely to topple the Hamas government, the point of the continued killings seems elusive.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.