By Sonja Pace
Jerusalem (RushPRNews) 06 January 2009-Fighting intensified in the Gaza Strip, overnight, and casualty figures continue to rise – with five Israeli soldiers killed since the ground offensive began late Saturday, at least three of them in a friendly-fire incident and Israel claiming to have killed 130 militant fighters in the ground offensive. The Red Cross says there is growing concern about civilian casualties in Gaza and is calling the situation “unbearable.”
Israeli air and sea bombardments continued through the night and into Tuesday morning and Israeli troops are reported pushing deeper into areas of Gaza City and closing in on other population centers.
Israeli military officials say the air and ground offensive is severely damaging Hamas infrastructure and its ability to launch rocket attacks into Israel.
But, reports of rising casualties and television footage of wounded and dead civilians, including children, are causing increasing concern and international condemnation.
In Geneva, the international Red Cross said Gaza is a “full-blown” humanitarian crisis.
In Gaza, Red Cross spokesman Iyad Nasr says the situation is dire.
“The situation is becoming unbearable and more casualties are being seen among the population, the civilian population, including paramedics, including hospitals and ambulances,” said Nasr.
But, there is no indication Israel is ready to call off its campaign, despite international pressure to do so.
Gaza medical officials say the death toll in Gaza has reached 560 people and continues to rise.