Wikinews:Briefs/January 15, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

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A compilation of brief news reports on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Day 20

Hamas agrees to outlines of ceasefire brokered by Egypt, heavy fighting continues

Map of the Gaza Strip

Fighting and a heavy exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas continued in the Gaza Strip overnight despite Hamas agreeing to the main outlines of a ceasefire brokered by officials in Egypt.

On Ramattan's live video feed of the strip, Israeli tanks and gunships could be seen continuing to strike their targets, while Hamas fought Israeli soldiers on the streets. This marks the third night of intense bombings and exchanges. The fighting has brought the Palestinian death toll from the Israeli offensive to over 1,000, leaving thousands more injured.

"[We] presented to the Egyptian leadership our detailed vision," said Hamas in a statement which also added that Hamas did not reject the proposal.

The Israeli government is said to be looking at details of Hamas's proposal, but so far no agreement has been reached between the two sides. Damage incurred from the war is estimated to cost Gaza nearly US$1.5 billion.


Osama bin Laden calls for a violent jihad against Israel

Osama bin Laden (file photo)

The leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden has released a new audio tape calling for a "holy war" against Israel for their offensive against the Gaza Strip in Palestine. The message appeared on Islamist extremist websites in the overnight hours.

Bin Laden's message has yet to be verified by intelligence officials in the United States, but reports say the voice on the tape is similar to previous recording released by bin Laden. In the tape, he calls on Palestinians to engage in a jihad against Israel to "stop the aggression against Gaza" and "liberate Palestine."


President of the UN general assembly claims Israel is committing genocide

The United Nations General Assembly in session (file photo)

On Tuesday, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, President of the United Nations General Assembly, condemned Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip saying, "The number of victims in Gaza is increasing by the day... The situation is untenable. It's genocide." Over 1,000 Palestinians have died since the bombings began on December 27, 2008 and over 4,300 have been injured.

Gabriela Shalev, Israel's ambassador to the UN, called d'Escoto an "Israel hater" for having hugged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. Israel claims it began bombarding Gaza to eliminate rockets being fired by Hamas and Palestinian fighters inside the Strip.

"You have to attack problems at their root cause and the Palestinian people have been subjected to subhuman treatment for decades and this [the Israeli offensive] is going to make matters worse," added d'Escoto.