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News number: 8710221439

15:50 | 2009-01-11


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Fierce Fighting Underway East of Gaza City

TEHRAN (FNA)- Heavy fighting is underway east of Gaza City where Hamas fighters fired anti-tank missiles and mortar bombs at advancing Israeli forces who responded with tank shells and air strikes.

Israeli infantry units involved in battle subject the residential areas to heavy bombardment ahead of moving into the city.

"If they are told to reach an objective, they first call in artillery or airpower and use tank fire. Then they move, but only behind tanks and armored bulldozers, riding in armored personnel carriers, spending as little time in the open as possible," the Islamic republic news agency reported from Gaza City.

Israeli tactics in moving into Gaza City focused on scorched earth policy taking more tolls on civilians.

Israeli artillery shelling of two villages in the southern Gaza Strip killed a woman and set 15 houses on fire, medical workers and witnesses said. Some 50 people suffered from burns and inhalation of phosphorus gas, they said.

Use of phosphorus gas against civilians is forbidden, but, Israel is ignoring all the war laws.

A military expert in Gaza City told the Islamic republic news agency that what Israel is doing in Gaza is massacre of the Palestinians ignoring the war laws and the Geneva Convention.

Aid agencies say Gaza's 1.5 million residents are in urgent need of food and medical aid.

'Fear, despondency and hunger... lack of water and lack of hope...' Read an Oxfam worker's view of Gaza City.