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Bombs hit Gaza as UN urges truce

world Updated: Jan 09, 2009 23:34 IST
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Israel pushed ahead with its offensive in the Gaza Strip on Friday, ignoring a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the 14-day-old conflict.

Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on the outskirts of the city of Gaza, residents said. Elsewhere, Palestinian medics said tanks shelled a house in Beit Lahiya in the north of the Gaza Strip, killing six Palestinians from the same family.

The Israeli air force hit at least 50 targets across the enclave, including launching pads for rockets and facilities used to manufacture rockets, an army spokesman said.

In New York, the Security Council passed a resolution urging an “immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire”, and for Israel to withdraw from Gaza after its two-week air-and-ground offensive. The United States abstained.

Israel’s leaders convened early on Friday to debate the resolution. The security cabinet would later vote on whether to push ahead with the offensive or cease fire unilaterally, an Israeli official said.

Israel’s military commanders appeared keen to pursue what was termed a third stage of the operation with additional ground troops being sent into the heart of Gaza’s built-up areas to flush out more gunmen and to try to secure more gains.