Gaza Death Toll Hits 400

Palestinian parliament building gutted as UN warns of humanitarian crisis
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2009 6:50 AM CST
Palestinians carry the body of Ismail Hamdan, 10, during his funeral in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip today. Hamdan died of injuries received from an Israeli airstrike.    (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
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(Newser) – The Gaza death toll passed 400 as Israeli airstrikes continued for a sixth day on the start of the New Year and gutted the Palestinian parliament building, CNN reports. The dead include 42 children, 13 women and two medical workers. Some 2,000 others are injured, hundeds of them critically. Israel has rejected calls for a truce and vowed to continue the assault until a "real and sustainable" solution is found to stop Palestinian attacks on Israel.

UN officials warned that the humanitarian situation in Gaza was on the verge of catastrophe. "This is a very bloody operation, by anybody's standards, even by the standards of that part of the world," said the UN's emergency relief coordinator. Israel has massed troops on the Gaza border and a ground assault is widely expected.