With over 1,100 Palestinians killed and over 5,000 wounded in the first three weeks of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, the fourth week began with a glimmer of hope, for while the fighting continued it was reported to be somewhat less fierce than in previous days, perhaps an early indicator that tomorrow evening’s vote in the Israeli cabinet is likely to pass, and that the attacks will halt soon.
In fact, Israeli troops appear to have withdrawn to the outskirts of Gaza City, perhaps taking up the positions they intend to occupy during the early stages of the ceasefire. Israeli officials said the intention is to keep the invasion force inside the Gaza Strip after they halt the attacks, giving them the option to easily renew hostilities.
14 Palestinians were reportedly killed today, three of them children, making it one of the lowest death tolls since Israel launched its attacks on December 27. At least 15 rockets were also fired into Israel, causing a handful of injuries but no deaths.