Israel Pummels Gaza Before Ceasefire Vote

2 children killed in UN school shelter: Palestinians
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2009 8:31 AM CST

(Newser) – Israel launched 50 air strikes on Gaza last night ahead of a Cabinet vote on a unilateral ceasefire, the BBC reports. A tank shell hit a UN school, killing at least two children among hundreds of people who had taken refuge there, Palestinians say; Israel says it’s looking into the matter. A UN relief agency says Israel’s Gaza operations should face a war crimes probe.

Hamas says it will keep fighting if an Israeli truce doesn’t fit its terms. “As long as (the Israeli military) remains in Gaza, resistance and confrontation will continue,” a spokesman told AFP. The militant group wants Israeli troops pulled from Gaza and blockades opened; representatives will attend continuing talks today with Egypt as mediator. Egypt’s current plan would halt fighting for 10 days while Israeli troops remained in Gaza and blockades stayed closed.