No Peace In The Middle East

Over 300 people are injured and 195 dead after a series of Israeli air attacks on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. The attacks are the worst, in terms of Palestinian casualties, since 1967.

Israel claims it had "no choice" but to attack, after a truce with Hamas had expired. "There is a time for calm and a time for fighting, and now the time has come to fight," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says, "It won't be easy and it won't be short." Hamas has vowed revenge for the attacks, releasing this statement: "Hamas will continue the resistance until the last drop of blood." Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian legislator, calls the attacks, "a very cruel escalation, a relentless bombardment of a captive civilian population that has already been under siege for months, that has been deprived of basic requirements like food and medicines and fuel and power," while Israeli Maj. Avital Leibovich claims the attacks are necessary "in order to preserve the security situation in Israel." The United States, meanwhile, has released a statement asking that Israel "avoid civilian casualties as it targets Hamas in Gaza." [BBC][CNN]