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Israel Bombs UN School, Three Killed; Death Toll 100 on Monday Alone

A "large number" of Monday's casualties were civilians, and twelve of them were children.
 
 
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For more background and news on the gaza invasion, read Liliana Segura's Atrocities in Gaza: Piecing Together the Story

Amy Goodman: The Palestinian death toll continues to mount on the eleventh day of Israel's attack on Gaza. The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reports 100 Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks Monday, "a large number" of them civilians. At least twelve of the dead were children. At least two whole families were wiped out, one family of seven inside the Shati refugee camp and another family of eleven in the neighborhood of Zeitoun. Earlier today, at least ten Palestinian civilians were killed when an Israeli naval boat shelled their home on the Gaza shore. Witnesses say Israeli tanks have now entered a second major Palestinian city, Khan Yunis, in addition to Gaza City in the north.

Meanwhile, five Israeli soldiers were also killed Monday. The Israeli military says four of them died in two separate incidents when Israeli tank shells errantly hit the areas where they were operating. The mistaken killing of its own soldiers could serve to further bolster criticism of Israel's claim to be attacking Gaza with precise strikes on military targets.

Overall, an estimated 562 Palestinians have been killed with more than 2,500 wounded.

The Bush administration, meanwhile, continues to support Israel's attack. On Monday, the veteran correspondent Helen Thomas questioned White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.

Helen Thomas: Why is the President letting more people be killed in this situation, instead of going for a ceasefire and calling for restraint, as they have in the past, on both sides?

Dana Perino: We are calling for a durable ceasefire. That's what we are trying to establish.

Helen Thomas: But why don't you call it today and stop people from being killed?

Dana Perino: Well, I think, Helen, strong views are held on this by all sides. We believe that Israel has a right to defend itself, and--

Helen Thomas: Do the Gazans have a right to defend themselves?

Dana Perino: I think that what the Gazans deserve is a chance to live in peace and security. What President Bush has worked for is a chance to establish a two-state solution, so that the Palestinians could have their own state, so that they could live in their own democracy. And that's what President Abbas, who is the President of all Palestinians, has been working towards.

Helen Thomas: The President did not recognize their election, which was fair and square under international law, as observers --

Dana Perino: Look, when -- the President did call for the -- did support the elections. And when the elections were held, I don't think that Hamas was elected because they said, "Vote for us, we'll take you to war" or "We'll hold you hostage" or "We'll send rockets into Israel every day." But they won because they were tired -- the people of -- the Palestinians, people of Gaza, were frustrated with the services that they were getting from the Fatah party, which was a wake-up call for the Fatah party as well. And they have worked to try to improve what they could provide governance-wise for all of the Palestinians.

Helen Thomas: So knowing that, why did the US cut off all relation -- all aid to the people?

Dana Perino: We certainly have not done that to the people of Gaza. We do not deal with the terrorist organizations, of which Hamas is designated as one.

AG: The UN says around a quarter of the dead are civilians, but that figure only counts women and children, excluding adult males. Today, we'll look at one of those men. I'm joined by Fares Akram. He's the Gaza correspondent for The Independent of London. His father was killed in an Israeli F-16 attack on Saturday. His wife is nine months pregnant.