The israel Defense Force conducted several mililtay actions in Gaza even as Hamas militants fired at least 50 Kassams and mortar bombs into Israel. At least 59 Palestinians were killed including 16 civillians. The IAF claimed it bombed a truck loaded with rockets. Many of the Palestinians who were killed were unfortuanately living in areas from which rockets are launched into Israel. Izzadin Kassam, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for firing dozens of rockets at Israel, one of which misfired and wounded five Gazans.
President Abbas urged Israel to end the attacks saying this continuing war would halt peace efforts, and he also urged an end to rocket attacks. Each side is now locked into a tit for tat approach in which the other side must halt before it will. The time has come for an immediate cease fire which means outside mediators must be engaged who can deal with the crisis. Kofi Annan just completed a successful mediating process in Kenya, he certainly could be someone to assume leadership in bringing about peace. There certainly is need for an outside peacekeeping force to maintain peace and security in the area. We recommend asking Turkey to supply such forces since it has excellent realtions with both Israel and Palestinians.