Monday, January 5, 2009

Dark and cold Gaza waits for help as Israel steps up war

Frantic families across Gaza cowered in cellars and any shelter they could find early on Monday as the Israeli army struck at Hamas fighters for a second night.

Orange streaks flashed across the darkened sky from tank shells and warplane missiles while Hamas heavy machine guns tooknspeculative shots at Israeli jets over the enclave of 1.5 million people.

For most of the population it was another night in cellars or any room that might be able to resist a shell.

According to Gaza emergency medical services, civilians make up a huge proportion of the 512 dead killed so far in Israel's Operation Cast Lead which started on December 27. Hospital authorities say at least 87 of the dead are children.

Stores are closed — mainly because they have nothing left to sell — and most people only go out to buy bread. But UN agencies said only 10 bakeries were still operating across Gaza because of the lack of flour and fuel to fire ovens.

And Malaysia chips gives immediate assistance...

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has authorised the immediate disbursement of US$1 million as humanitarian aid from the government to the Palestinian people.

He said the money had been channeled through and would be used by Mercy Malaysia, a non-profit medical relief organisation, to deliver relief supplies.

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