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Latest on the Israeli ground offensive

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-01-08

Israeli ground troops began moving into the Gaza Strip on Saturday shortly before 7:30 pm Paris time (GMT+1). Keep track of the unfolding operations with the timeline below.

Ask FRANCE 24 correspondents reporting on the conflict your questions

All times are Paris time (GMT+1)


Thursday, January 8


00.47 am: Israel intensifies ground assault


After a brief pause, Israel resumed its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, with more tanks entering the territory and planes bombing suspected tunnel systems along the Egyptian border.

Wednesday, January 7


09.32 pm: Rafah braces for heavy Israeli bombing
Israeli planes drop leaflets warning residents around Rafah in southern Gaza near the Egyptian border to evacuate their homes before 8am Thursday before a massive Israeli bombardment.

03.26 pm: Israeli bombings resume

Reporting from the Gaza border, FRANCE 24’s Lucas Menget said Israeli jets resume bombing areas in northern Gaza. “What I can see from the northern side of the Gaza Strip is that after three hours of ceasefire, a few artillery shells started to fall again on the Gaza Strip,” said Menget.

01:28 pm: Hamas to freeze rocket attacks while Israel halts Gaza bombing

Hamas says it will not fire any rockets towards Israel while the Jewish state halts bombings during three hours in the Gaza Strip.


 01:07 pmIsrael welcomes Egyptian initiative

Israel says it's positive about talks with Egypt over Gaza proposal but stopped short from accepting the plan.

12:26 pm: Israel temporarily halts Gaza bombing

Israel has temporarily stopped bombing over Gaza  to allow the passage of humanitarian aid inside the territory.

“I see trucks belonging to the UN and to private organisation entering the terminal. Inside the contents of the trucks is unloaded into a secure zone” before it is retrieved by Palestinians, says FRANCE 24's  Lucas Menget at the Kerem Shalom terminal on the Gaza border.


09:28 am: Israel plans to halt military operations for three hours daily

Israel says it will halt a dabombing over Gaza for three hours everyday  to enable aid to flow through a humanitarian corridor it is setting up in the Hamas-ruled territory, a military source said on Wednesday.

02:48 am: Israel takes Egypt’s ceasefire proposal “very, very seriously”
Israel's UN envoy said that the Israelis were taking Egypt's proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza "very seriously" but left open whether or not Israel would accept it. "I am sure that it will be considered and you will find out whether it was accepted," Israeli Ambassador Gabriela Shalev told reporters. "But we take it very, very seriously."


00:36 am: US backs Egyptian ceasefire proposal in Gaza
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Washington backs a proposal by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. "We need urgently to conclude a ceasefire that can endure and that can bring real security," Rice told the UN Security Council.


00:13 am: Israel will open a "humanitarian corridor" into Gaza
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office says Israel will open a "humanitarian corridor" into Gaza to allow aid to pass. Israeli security officials made the proposition, which would entail temporarily opening up certain areas to allow Gaza residents to stock up on vital goods.


Read previous posts on the Israeli ground offensive
Fighting in the Gaza Strip. Footage by Gaza-based Ramattan news agency.

Date created : 2009-01-07