Israel rejects UN truce call,continues attacks on Gaza

Israel rejected a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza on Friday as jets and tanks again pounded the Palestinian enclave...

Written by Reuters | Gaza | Published: January 10, 2009 12:44 am

Israel rejected a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza on Friday as jets and tanks again pounded the Palestinian enclave,and announced no decision on whether to step up its two-week-old war on Hamas guerrillas.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dismissed Thursday’s binding Security Council resolution demanding an “immediate and durable” ceasefire as “unworkable”.

Diplomats sounded the alarm that Egyptian-brokered truce talks launched this week might also be foundering. Israel’s security cabinet debated for the second time in three days whether to send in reservists for a push into the Gaza Strip’s towns and cities. There was no word on the outcome.

Mark Regev,Olmert’s spokesman,declined to say whether the ministers had decided to expand the ground operation. “I can’t go into operational details. The military pressure on Hamas will continue,” Regev said,adding that the Islamist group had fired 30 rockets into Israel on Friday.

Israel’s air force said it hit over 50 targets overnight. As fighting on the ground went on through the day,Palestinian medics counted at least 19 dead,including civilians.

Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on the outskirts of the city of Gaza,residents said.

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