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Death toll reaches 1,070 as thousands of Palestinians flee the shelling.
Rami AL Meghari, IMEMC correspondant in Gaza, said that Israeli tanks have moved into the Gaza City center, near a United Nations relief compound. The tanks have been randomly shelling residential areas.
Rami added that "as tanks proceeded into the city, thousands of families fearing for their lives left their homes, and fled to other parts of Gaza City." As tanks continued their onslaught, the Israeli Air Force bombarded the town of Beit Hannon, located in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
As the offensive continues for the 20th day, Dr. Mo'awiah Hassanen, director of the Emergency and Ambulance department in the Ministry of Health in Gaza, told news agencies that the death toll in Gaza by Thursday morning now stands at 1,070 Palestinians, among the killed are 335 children. He added that the number of those injured has reached a total of 4,900 today, among them 400 are in critical condition.
The Israeli Army embarked on its military offensive on Saturday, December 27th, 2008. Israeli warplanes began the military operation by shelling all possible Palestinian security post in Gaza. In the following days, the air raids were expanded; hospitals, homes, blacksmith workshops, schools, mosques, ambulances, media and UN relief efforts were targeted.
Day and night, the entire Palestinian coastal region has been under attack. On Saturday, January 3rd, 2009, Israeli ground forces entered the Gaza strip, but have encountered resistance amongst local armed factions.