Israel Seizes East Gaza; Siege Toll Tops 480

Assault kills 24 Gazans as Hamas continues rocket attacks
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2009 10:25 AM CST

(Newser) – Israeli forces captured the eastern part of northern Gaza today, securing control less than 24 hours after its troops and tanks rolled into the Palestinian territory, CNN reports. At least 24 Palestinians were killed in Gaza today, pushing the death toll for the 8-day siege over 480, as EU reps traveled to the region to broker a cease-fire.

Overnight, Israeli missiles targeted 45 Hamas locations, and the Jewish state said dozens of insurgents were “hit” in the fighting. But Hamas continued its attack on southern Israel today, launching at least 30 rockets and killing four Israelis, including three civilians. An Israeli spokesman said ousting Hamas isn’t the government’s goal and called Gaza’s civilian population “victims like us.”