Casualties rise in Gaza offensive

BBC:

“Casualties have been pouring into over-stretched hospitals in the Gaza Strip as Israel presses on with its offensive against Palestinian militant groups.”

Palestinian medical officials say at least 90 people, including many civilians and 26 children, have been killed since the ground assault began.

According to Palestinian medical sources, more than 500 people have been killed and some 2,500 wounded since the Israeli operation began 10 days ago. These figures cannot be independently verified.

‘Mainly civilians’

There were reports of fierce fighting in northern Gaza as news began to emerge of the scale of the problems facing medical staff.

Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, one of two foreign doctors working at Gaza’s biggest hospital, al-Shifa, said they had received a “new wave” of very serious injuries on Monday.

“We have many amputations, head injuries, and of course for a hospital in this situation… it’s extremely difficult to handle,” he told the BBC.

He warned that the hospital would be unable to operate much longer unless it received fresh medical supplies.

“People are dying now because of lack of supplies. We have all operating rooms full. Yesterday we were operating on two patients in one operating room… This is a complete disaster”.

Israel has insisted that it is not targeting civilians and accuses Hamas of using civilians as human shields by operating in populated areas.

But Dr Gilbert said the overwhelming majority of casualties he had treated were civilians.

“Among all the hundreds we have seen so far, we have seen two fighters,” he said, adding that women and children alone made up 25% of the death toll, and 45% of the wounded.
Read on..

(Video: Inside Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital)

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Al Franken to be declared certified as winner in Minnesota Senate race

Reuters

Democrat Al Franken will be declared the winner of the tight U.S. Senate contest in Minnesota, emerging from a ballot recount with a slim margin over Republican Norm Coleman, state officials said on Sunday.

But Coleman, the incumbent, has asked Minnesota’s supreme court to require that a few hundred additional absentee ballots be included in the recount — and he could then ask the court to investigate the contest all over again.

“At the moment, Franken has a 225-vote lead,” after the weekend counting of what were deemed the last uncounted absentee ballots, said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat who oversaw the process.

Ritchie said unless the supreme court acts on Coleman’s request and orders more ballots to be counted, he will reconvene the state’s Canvassing Board on Monday to certify Franken as the winner of the November 4 contest.

Woo hoo!!!  Go, Franken!!

UPDATE: The Free Press, Mankato, 11/6/08

“Yesterday the voters spoke. We prevailed,” Coleman said Wednesday at a news conference. He noted Franken could opt to waive the recount.

“It’s up to him whether such a step is worth the tax dollars it will take to conduct,” Coleman said, telling reporters he would “step back” if he were in Franken’s position.

I guess we’ll see what Norm Coleman will do, now that the shoe is on the other foot.  ;)

HT:  Dr Hussein Matt on ThinkProgress

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More Gaza Updates

Again, I will continue to add to the list of links:

Reuters: Aid agencies say Gaza needs food, medicine — and body bags

People in Gaza were in dire need of food and medical supplies, aid agencies said on Monday, but Israel’s ground assault and air raids were hampering relief efforts.

Freezing cold is compounding the misery of children caught in the conflict. And body bags for victims are in short supply.

“The situation in Gaza since the Israel Defense Forces launched their ground offensive on Saturday night has become both chaotic and extremely dangerous,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a situation report.

Air raids had damaged hospitals, water supply systems, government buildings and mosques but it was difficult for ICRC staff to move around to assist, it said.

About 530 Palestinians have been killed, at least a quarter of them civilians, since Israel launched its offensive on Dec. 27 to curtail Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza.

ICRC: Gaza: wounded people dying while waiting for ambulances

Oxydown Gazette: The Reality of Israel’s War on Gaza: “Hospitals at Breaking Point, Families Devastated, People Forced from Their Homes With Nowhere to Go”

Democracy Now! There is a series of good interviews today.

Consortium News: Israel’s Looming Catastrophe by Robert Parry

Common Dreams: Calling Out Bush’s War in Gaza

Raw Story: Group: Israel deliberately attacked Palestinian journalists

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Norwegian doctor in Gaza: Israel targeting civilians

I included this link in my earlier news roundup on Gaza. This video interview is important enough to post by itself.

Raw Story:

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor working in Gaza, told Sky News that that the number of civilians injured and killed in Gaza proves that Israel is deliberately attacking the population.

Transcript of interview.

Read this report from The Sydney Herald (Common Dreams) :
Stench in the Air: Scant Resources Stretched to Exhaustion

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Updates on Gaza

This morning I am putting together some links on posts from sites updating the ongoing situation in Gaza. I’ll continue adding to the list..

Informed Comment: Have Bush and the Neocons Ruined it for the Israelis?

“The Israeli propaganda blitz around their attack on Gaza has been greeted with uncharacteristic skepticism by the American public and even by some of the mainstream US press.”

“Let’s take some of the basic techniques of propaganda practiced by Bush and compare them to those deployed by the Israeli leadership in the past 8 days.”

Firedoglake: Gaza Update: Olmert “No Humanitarian Crisis” (with video)

Firedoglake: Some Things Are Not What They Seem

Raw Replay: Norwegian doctor in Gaza: Israel targeting civilians (with video):

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor working in Gaza, told Sky News that that the number of civilians injured and killed in Gaza proves that Israel is deliberately attacking the population.

Wake Up From Your Slumber: Some pictures of Israel’s crimes in Gaza yesterday (disturbing and graphic)

AlterNet: Tragedy in Gaza — Desperately Seeking Leadership from Obama

Common Dreams: Israel Rains Fire on Gaza With Phosphorus Shells

Truthout: Gaza City Residents Hunker Down

Haaretz: And there lie the bodies

TPM: No End in Sight (video roundup)

BBC: Israel vows no let-up over Gaza

The Guardian: Israeli troops and Hamas fighters clash in streets of Gaza City

The Independent: Gaza: The death and life of my father

For Fares Akram, The Independent’s reporter in Gaza, the Israeli invasion became a personal tragedy when he discovered his father was one of the first casualties of the ground war

The Nation: Bush’s Last War Crime?

The Israeli invasion of Gaza, launched Saturday, might very well be George W. Bush’s last and final war crime. For eight years, Bush has coupled unparalled ignorance of the Middle East with supreme arrogance. It is precisely that deadly combination of ignorance and arrogance that is on display now, as a politically motivated Israeli invasion of Gaza unfolds with the full support of the Bush administration.

The Nation: To Live and Die in Gaza (a must-read)

Global Research: The Invasion of Gaza: “Operation Cast Lead”, Part of a Broader Israeli Military-Intelligence Agenda

Global Research: Dem leaders out of step with voters on Israel’s attack on Gaza (Glenn Greenwald)

McClatchy: Civilian casualties rise as Israel presses in on Gaza City

Also from McClatchy: With nowhere safe, Gazans hunker down inside their homes

And then you have President Bush FINALLY come out from wherever he’s been hiding, and making a statement on the Gaza situation:

Huffington Post: Bush On Gaza Fighting: Israel Has The Right To Protect Itself

Photo by (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

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