Haaretz reports that, as Israeli ground forces entered Gaza yesterday, “hundreds of shells were fired, including cluster bombs aimed at open areas.” FireDogLake’s Siun writes, “The use of cluster bombs — which have a large footprint when initially dropped and then remain a threat for decades — in a location like the Gaza Strip which is so packed with people is horrifying.” (FDL notes that video footage seems to confirm the use of cluster bombs.) Last summer, a former Israeli defense official said that “the Israeli military used cluster bombs for two weeks during the 2006 Lebanon war without telling the Israeli government.” At the time, the UN decried the use of the bombs as “completely immoral.”
(Note: The photo shows Israeli forces dropping white phosphorus shells, which “can cause horrific burns but is not illegal if used as a smokescreen.”)
An Israeli soldier was killed in a gunbattle with Gaza militants today, the first since Israel launched its ground operation. “In addition to the fatality, 31 Israel Defense Forces soldiers have been wounded, three of them seriously.” Gaza medical personnel said a woman and four of her children were among the 35 Palestinians killed during an Israeli ground operation today. Meanwhile, “Palestinian terrorists continued their bombardment of southern Israel, firing some 41 rockets and mortar shells since Sunday morning.”
,The Bush administration blocked approval of a U.N. Security Council statement calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza.