Israeli Assault Could Last Weeks; 230 Dead

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2008 11:23 PM CST
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, center, talks as Defense Minister Ehud Barak, right, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni listen during a press conference.   (AP Photo/Moti Milrod)
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(Newser) – Israel's bombardment of Hamas posts in the Gaza Strip is the start of a military operation likely to last several weeks, the Jerusalem Post reports. The assault—one of the deadliest in the 60-year conflict—has killed 230 Palestinians, including at least three senior Hamas officers, notes Haaretz. Hamas vowed revenge, calling for a new uprising and more suicide attacks in Israel.

The number of wounded is about 400 on the low end of estimates, and hospitals are strained to the breaking point. Despite the heavy assault on its military sites, Hamas launched more than 100 rockets into southern Israel, killing at least one. Meanwhile, Israeli troops were massing by the Gaza border, and civilians on both sides braced for days of heavy fighting, the Los Angeles Times reports.