U.N. compound ablaze in Gaza fighting

    * Story Highlights
    * Fighting near U.N. relief agency's HQ in Gaza City sets compound ablaze
    * Main U.N. aid agency in Gaza calls for Israel and Hamas to stop 20-day war
    * Israel, Hamas have refused Security Council resolution calling for 
    * More than 1,000 Palestinians killed, nearly 5,000 wounded in conflict

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in 
Gaza City set part of a U.N. relief agency's central storehouse for 
humanitarian aid ablaze, its director said Thursday.

The fire left black smoke hanging over Gaza City, and there was no way to 
control the fire, said John Ging, the head of operations in Gaza for the U.N. 
Relief and Works Agency.

"It's a very big fire, and we're not able to get it under control at the 
moment," he said. With gun battles going on around the facility, "the emergency 
services are not able to get to us."

The compound was hit by shrapnel and tank fire during clashes Thursday morning, 
Ging said. Three workers were hurt, and the compound's warehouse and workshop 
were burning out of control within an hour and a half, he said. VideoWatch as 
fire blazes at U.N. compound »

"What we've had all night and into this morning is a relentless bombardment of 
this area by artillery fire, which is coming from kilometers away, and by tank 
fire," he said. He said staffers identified the source of the fires as white 
phosphorous shells, whose use is restricted under international law.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military on the allegation. But 
the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using white 
phosphorous shells in Gaza during its campaign against Hamas, which has ruled 
Gaza since 2007.

The group said that while the use of white phosphorus to obscure military 
movements is "a permissible use in principle," the substance can burn civilians 
and start fires in the densely populated region.

The Israel Defense Forces initially denied using the ordnance. But by Monday, 
Israeli officials said only that any shells fired in Gaza "are in accordance 
with international law."

Aid workers were already warning that the new fighting between Israel and the 
Palestinian militant group Hamas threatened to bring about a humanitarian 
disaster. Following the last two days of bombardment, the private relief agency 
CARE announced it was canceling its distribution of food and medical aid to the 
territory during Thursday's fighting as well. Read an aid worker's diary

"Desperately needed supplies are ready to be distributed today, but we cannot 
reach the people in need because of the bombing," Martha Myers, the charity's 
director in the Palestinian territories, said in a written statement.

And the Foreign Press Association said international news agency offices in 
Gaza City was hit by Israeli fire Thursday and demanded Israel stop shooting at 
the building that houses them.

"We note that these buildings are well known landmarks in Gaza and that the IDF 
has been clearly notified of their location on several occasions," the agency 

UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness said the agency had urged Israel to stop 
fighting nearby, but had no response. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who 
is in the region for talks aimed at ending the now 20-day war, was meeting 
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as the fire burned.

Gunness urged both Israel and Hamas, which has been firing rockets into 
southern Israel, to heed the "conscience of the world" and comply with a U.N. 
resolution calling for a cease-fire.

But he added: "I'm standing looking over the town of Beit Hanoun, and with 
every dull thud and every plume of smoke that comes out of there, it's sad to 
say that the parties on the ground are not listening."

Israeli aircraft struck 70 targets in Gaza overnight, the Israel Defense Forces 
reported Thursday, while fighting on the ground left 11 Israeli troops wounded. 
The military said about 35 armed Palestinian fighters were wounded or killed in 
those clashes, mostly by airstrikes.

The Israeli military has been halting its bombardment for daily three-hour 
stretches to allow trucks loaded with food, fuel and medical supplies to enter 
the territory. It said it planned to let 170 trucks through the border on 
Thursday, and announced the appointment of an army officer, Brig. Gen. Shimi 
Daniel, to coordinate humanitarian efforts. VideoWatch as civilians suffer most 

Israel launched its campaign against Gaza on December 27 in an effort to halt 
the firing of rockets at its southern cities. That fire persisted Thursday, 
with at least 10 rockets or mortar shells striking Israeli territory, the IDF 

More than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 5,000 wounded since 
the conflict began, Palestinian officials said Wednesday. Israel said 10 of its 
soldiers and three civilians have been killed and more than 100 soldiers have 
been wounded.

Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist and has been designated a 
terrorist organization by the Israeli government, the United States and the 
European Union. A top official of the movement, which won Palestinian elections 
in 2006, said Wednesday it would accept a cease-fire only if the Jewish state 
withdraws from Gaza and lifts its economic blockade of the territory.

The issue has split the Arab nations into two camps: Those, like Egypt, who 
want an end to Hamas' political influence, and others, like Qatar, who are more 
sympathetic to the movement.

CNN's Michal Zippori and Talal Abu Rahmi contributed to this report.

All AboutHamas • Israel • Gaza
Links referenced within this article

Watch as fire blazes at U.N. compound »
Read an aid worker's diary
Watch as civilians suffer most »

Find this article at:
Click Here to Print     
     SAVE THIS | EMAIL THIS | Close 
 Uncheck the box to remove the list of links referenced in the article.
� 2008 Cable News Network.

Jusfiq Hadjar gelar Sutan Maradjo Lelo

Allah yang disembah orang Islam tipikal dan yang digambarkan oleh al-Mushaf itu 
dungu, buas, kejam, keji, ganas, zalim lagi biadab hanyalah Allah fiktif.


Kirim email ke